Skip to main content

Full text of "Dry laws and wet politicians"

See other formats


HV5oao 


Dtu  Cau>^  OKI  a 


HV  5090 
.M4  W5 
Copy  1 


Harold  D. 

WILSOM 


on. 


Dry  Laws 

and 

WPdifidans 

flKlTtll(i!OA'irO®MAIL/@\  IP>y[i(LO©lKlll!Bg 
33  Newbury  St  VcerrtJ/  Boston.  Mass. 


HAROLD  DAVID  WILSON  was  born  in  Cawk^r 
City,  Kansas,  in  1884,  spent  his  ea-rly  youth  in  Shel- 
burne  Falls,  Massachus,etts,  lost  his  mother  at  the 
age  of  twelve,  at  fourteen  was  earning  his  own  way 
through  High  School  and  later  through  Tufts  Col- 
lege, has  had  some  years  experience  a^s  a  reporter, 
editor  and  publisher,  is  a  Veteran  of  the  World  War 
(Aviation  Corps),  after  his  honorable  discharge  as 
a  First  Lieutenant  A.  S.  A.  (Air  Service  Aeronatics) 
was  prominently  identified  with  the  Soldiers'  and 
Sailors'  Employment  Bureau,  Boston  Common,  was 
head  of  the  Victory  Liberty  Loan  Military  Speak- 
ers for  New  England,  Chairman  of  the  American 
Legion  (Massachusetts)  Speakers'  Bureau  in  1919, 
and  State  Reg-istrar^qf  Vital  Statistics  for  two  5'ea.rs 
prior  to  appointment  to  .  Massachusetts  Prohibition 
Department,  acceptance  of-latter  position  can  hardly 
be  construed  as  a  promotion,  but  rather  as  a  sacri- 
fice in  behalf  of  the  Cause. 


Dry  Laws  and  Wet  Politicians 

I  BY 

Harold  D.  Wilson 


Copyright  1922  by 

HAROLD  D.  WILSON 

Somerv-ille,    Mass. 


INTERNATIONAL  PUBLISHERS 

33  NEWBURY  STREET 

BOSTON  MASS. 


^J^^^ 


v^ 


DEDICATED 

to  my  wife,  Mary   Burroughs  Wilson   and   our   two   sons 
David  Burroughs   and  Weston   Perry  Wilson 

Fathers  and  mothers  !  The  fight  is  on !  You  can- 
not be  slackers  when  the  heahh  and  future  happiness 
of  your  children  is  at  stake. 

If  we  stand  steadfast  on  Prohibition  Law  Enforce- 
ment, the  youth  of  this  generation  will  never  know 
the  many  temptations  and  pitfalls  of  the  liquor 
nuisance. 


S',  Ov^ 


MAR  1 3  1922 
©CU681180 


'vxv: 


Mrs.  Harold  D.  Wilson,  and  two  sons 
David  and  Weston 


Photos  by  J.  R   Pardy  &  Co.,  Boston 

HAROLD  DAVID  WILSON 


Table  of  Contents 


Mrs.  Harold  D.  Wilson  and  sons 
Harold   D.   Wilson,   the   author 
A   Typical    Still 
Cartoon  Pages 


3 

4 

8 

6,  7,   165  and  167 


Chapter 

I  Removed    for    Over-Zealousness 

II  The   Quincy  House   Raid 

III  Ignorance    Sublime 

IV  Have   Our   Courts    Broken   Down? 

V  Facts   on   Prohibition 

VI  Publicity— It  Made  and  It  Unmade 

VII  Over    the    Top 

VIII  How  to  Enforce  Dry  Laws 

IX  Wet  Politicians'  Wet  Records 

X  Outwitting  the   Bootlegger 

XI  Hypocrisy    of    Wet    Politicians 

XII  Dry   Agents 

XIII  Carrie-Nationing  Stills 

XIV  Pretext   for    My   Removal 
XV  My    Alleged    Insubordination 

XVI  Gunning  for  the  Big  Fellows 

XVII  Snappy  Editorials 


Me 


Pages 

9-15 

16-27 

28-37 

38-48 

49-60 

61-71 

72-85 

86-95 

96-104 

105-111 

112-119 

120-123 

129-137 

138-146 

147-153 

154160 

161-158 


REMOVED    FOR    OVER    ZEALOUSNESS— BY 
WHOM— AND  FOR  WHAT  REASON? 

Chapter  I. 
Fired. 

By  whom  and  for  what  purpose? 

These  questions  have  been  asked  on  every  hand 
since  my  removal  as  Chief  Prohibition  Enforcement 
Officer  in  Massachusetts.  Commissioner  of  Internal 
Revenue,  David  H.  Blair,  of  Washington  accused  me 
of  being  indiscreet  and  temperamentally  unfit.  Al- 
though a  few  short  days  prior  to  my  discharge,  he 
not  only  offered  but  urged  me  to  accept  a  better 
position  in  the  Prohibition  Unit  with  the  proviso 
that  I  must  work  elsewhere  than  in  Massachusetts. 

Federal  Prohibition  Commissioner,  Roy  A.  Haynes, 
in  his  statement  conceded  I  was  one  of  the  best  en- 
forcement officials  in  the  country,  but  added  that  I 
was  sometimes  unduly  energetic,  and  too  indiscreet. 
He  was  also,  very  anxious  to  keep  me  in  the  service, 
provided  I  would  work  outside  of  Massachusetts. 

The  logical  inference  is  that  I  was  too  energetic 
and  too  indiscreet  for  the  Old  Bay  State,  but  just  the 
type  of  enforcement  official  for  any  other  State  in 
the  U.  S.  A.  In  other  words,  satisfactory  to  the  de- 
partment heads  in  Washington,  but  not  satisfactory 
to  certain  powerful  interests  in  Massachusetts. 

The  following  editorial  published  in  the  Boston 
Traveler,  on  January  23,  1922,  is  worth  reading  in 
connection  with  my  alleged  over  zealousness: 

TOO  ZEALOUS 

It  is  very  evident  that  Harold  D.  Wilson  has  been  too 
zealous  in  the  enforcement  of  prohibition.  He  has 
made  his  superior  officer  in  the  district  uncomfortable. 
He  has  made  certain  citizens  uncomfortable.  He  has 
made  Senator  Lodge  and  certain  representatives  un- 
comfortable, directly  or  indirectly.     So  he  was  called  on 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

the  carpet  and  told  he  might  choose  between  retiring 
from  the  job  or  retiring  from  the  Boston  district. 

What  are  the  charges  against  this  young  man  specifi- 
cally? Not  that  he  has  neglected  to  do  his  duty,  but 
that  he  has  done  it  too  thoroughly.  He  is  said  to  lack 
tact,  discretion,  the  ability  to  get  along  with  his  fellow 
officers.  Doubtless  this  is  true.  Still  the  question 
arises  ,  "What  is  a  prohibition  enforcement  officer  hired 
for?"  Must  he  be  a  model  of  affability,  a  good  mixer,  a 
person  half-hearted  in  the  performance  of  duty?  Or 
is  it  just  possible  that  the  so-called  failure  of  prohibi- 
tion to  prohibit,  is  due  to  the  employment  of  agents 
better  adapted  by  nature  to  making  friends  than  to 
making   enemies? 

Wilson  is  able  to  make  enemies.  He  is  willing  to 
make  enemies.  He  has  made  enemies.  IThe  point  which 
the  Congressmen  may  have  overlooked  is  that  the  public 
servant  who  is  not  afraid  to  make  enemies  also  makes 
friends,  immense  numbers  of  them. 

"Removed  for  over  zealousness  in  the  performance  of 
duty"  is  a  sign  that  can  scarcely  be  written  over  any 
man's  head  without  forcing  the  query,  "By  whom, — and 
by  what  right?" 

The  Senior  Senator,  Hon.  Henry  Cabot  Lodge,  is 

quoted  as  saying  he  was  not  interested,  and  he  would 
wash  his  hands  of  the  whole  affair.  History  has  in- 
cluded many  hand  washers,  including  Pontius  Pilate, 
none  of  whom  have  proven  particularly  successful. 
Such  trivial  matters  as  law  enforcement  in  the  Old 
Bay  State  are  of  no  consequence  to  the  Senior  Sen- 
ator. Why  should  he  worry  about  prohibition  law 
enforcement  while  such  well  known  wet  leaders  as 
Charley  Innes,  Samuel  Winslow,  et  al,  are  happy  and 
contented. 

The  purport  of  Congressman  Samuel  E.  Winslow's 
statement  was  that  he  did  not  know  Mr.  Wilson, 
which  was  probably  the  truth  in  as  much  as  Mr. 
Wilson,  never  attended  any  wet  banquets  except  in 
the  capacity  of  a  raider. 

No  statement  has  been  obtained  from  Mr.  Charles 
H.  Innes,  famous  G.  O.  P.  boss,  custodian  of  liquors 
at  governors'  banquets,  etc.,  although  it  is  reported 
on  the  very  best  of  authority  that  during  the  recent 

10 


REMOVED  FOR  OVER  ZEALOUSNESS 

Potter-Wilson  controversy  in  Washington,  Mr.  Innes 
was  registered  in  a  Washington  hotel,  not  far  from 
Prohibition  Headquarters.  Undoubtedly  Mr.  Innes 
approves  of  my  dismissal  or  such  action  never  would 
have  been  sanctioned. 

It  is  also  safe  to  assume  that  the  Governor, 
Channing  H.  Cox,  is  pleased  at  my  summary  dis- 
charge, otherwise  he  might  have  interested  himself 
in  my  retention.  The  slightest  activity  on  his  part 
backed  up  by  the  thousands  of  other  endorsements 
I  received,  would  have  undoubtedly  saved  the  day. 
But  why  should  he  worry,  as  long  as  his  ardent  sup- 
porter of  many  years,  Charley  Innes,  is  happy? 
Certainly  future  G.  O.  P.  love  feasts  will  be  safer,  if 
not  drier. 

Lieut.  Gov.  Alvan  T.  Fuller  has  been  quoted  as 
attributing  my  discharge  to  the  raiding  of  the  Gov- 
ernors' banquet  at  the  Quincy  House.  The  Lieuten- 
ant Governor  is  a  prohibitionist  by  conviction  and 
not  by  policy.  He  has  an  excellent  reputation  for 
veracity,  but  a  mighty  poor  record  for  covering  up 
political  rot.  In  other  words,  Hon.  Alvan  T.  Fuller 
has  long  been  a  thorn  in  the  flesh  of  Senator  Lodge, 
and  other  G.  O.  P.  leaders,  because  he  has  been 
prone  to  tell  the  truth,  and  nothing  but  the  truth,  on 
any  and  all  occasions. 

Cozy  politics  require  cozy  tactics.  No  man  in  the 
Charles  Innes-Senator  Lodge  school  is  supposed  to 
speak  until  he  receives  instructions.  The  Lieutenant 
Governor  is  a  successful  business  man,  in  fact  he  has 
proven  very  able  and  far  seeing  in  the  business 
world,  but  in  politics,  he  is  too  indiscreet,  too  out 
spoken  and  too  independent.  He  will  never  do  as  a 
politican,  although  many  think  he  possesses  the 
necessary  requisites  for  a  statesman. 

Hon.  Robert  M.  Washburn,  than  whom  there  is 
none  more  sarcastic  in  the  whole  wide  world,  has 
been  reported  as  disapproving  of  my  dismissal. 
Bob,  however,  is  reported  to  be  very  unruly.    He  has 

11 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

had  the  nerve  to  enter  politics  and  still  persist  in  do- 
ing his  own  thinking,  a  most  unusual  breach  of 
discipline,  and  something  that  will  undoubtedly  pre- 
vent his  further  elevation  in  the  political  world. 

I  might  go  on  and  name  a  multitude  of  politicians, 
near  politicians,  dry  leaders  and  others  who  have 
been  quoted  on  one  side  of  the  fence  or  the  other. 
But  why  persist  in  this  line,  especially  since  I  am 
getting  somewhat  off  my  subject  of  "fired,  by  whom, 
and  for  what  purpose." 

The  following  letter  is  an  exact  copy  of  my  dis- 
charge received  from  the  Commissioner  of  Internal 
Revenue,  David  H.  Blair.  This  letter  was  preceded 
by  a  telegram  to  the  same  effect,  received  late  Friday 
evening,  January  27th. 

TREASURY  DEPARTMENT 

Washington,  Jan.  27,  1922. 
Mr.  Harold  D.  Wilson, 

c|o  Federal  Prohibition  Director, 
Boston,  Mass. 
Sir, 

You   are   hereby   removed    from   the   position   of 
Head,  Field  Force  for  the  State  of  Massachusetts  for 
the  Good  of  the  Service,  effective  at  the  close  of 
business  January  27th,  1922. 
Respectfully, 

DAVID  H.  BLAIR,  Commissioner. 

My  discharge  was  dated  January  27th,  approved 
on  the  30th,  and  received  by  me  on  February  first. 
My  pay,  however,  stopped  on  the  27th,  and  I  had  to 
complete  whatever  official  business  was  absolutely 
necessary  on  Saturday,  the  28th,  and  Monday  the 
30th  at  my  own  expense. 

In  addition  to  the  telegram  and  letter  already  men- 
tioned, Commissioner  Blair,  kindly  informed  the 
Washington  Newspaper  Correspondents  that  he  had 
decided  after  reading  a  number  of  news  dispatches, 
that  I  was  too  indiscreet,  too  insubordinate,  and  too 
temperamental  for  retention  in  the  service.     He  was 

12 


REMOVED  FOR  OVER  ZEALOUSNESS 

even  so  heartless  as  to  withdraw  his  offer  to  give  me 
a  better  position  outside  of  Massachusetts,  which  I 
had  positively  refused  to  accept. 

If  a  man  is  indiscreet  who  not  only  insists  but 
persists,  in  the  face  of  opposition,  in  enforcing  the 
law  he  is  sworn  to  uphold,  than  I  am  quite  willing 
to  be  listed  as  indiscreet. 

If  a  man  is  insubordinate  who  persists  in  doing  the 
work  he  is  paid  to  do  (an  unpardonable  si.i  in  a 
federal  office  holder)  whether  his  superiors  want 
action  or  not,  then  I  suppose  I  was  insubordinate. 
No  one  has  attempted  to  gainsay,  however,  that  I 
was  energetic  and  industrious  and  no  one  has  indi- 
cated the  slightest  suspicion  that  the  men  who  dic- 
tated the  policy  of  my  superior  wanted  action  or 
suspected  my  superior  of  undue  activity. 

If  a  man  is  temperamentally  unfit  who  knows  only 
one  law  which  is  alike  for  all  men — who  can  see  no 
difference  between  the  rich  and  the  poor  man,  a 
governor  and  a  Polack  in  the  matter  of  liability  for 
violating  k  constitutional  law — who  is  such  an  un- 
sophisticated ignoramus  that  he  believes  the  laws 
should  be  enforced  from  the  Top  Down  rather  than 
from  the  Bottom  Part  Way  Up,  then  I  am  as  tem- 
peramental as  a  prima  donna,  and  am  proud  of  it. 

The  following  extract  from  an  editorial  in  the 
Springfield  Republican,  January  22,  1922,  is  pertin- 
ent relative  to  my  indiscretions: 

"DRY"  WILSON  AND  HIS  JOB 

A  first  class  prohibition  enforcement  officer  this  Mr. 
Harper  from  Washington  may  be,  who  has  been  ordered 
into  Massachusetts  to  do  "field  work".  But  what  is  to 
happen  to  Mr.  Wilson  the  man  on  the  job.  Wilson  is 
the  issue,  so  events  have  decreed.  Why  is  it  necessary 
to  remove  him,  or  to  transfer  him  in  view  of  the  fact 
that  he  is  now  reputed  to  be  the  most  aggressive  and 
efficient  prohibition  enforcement  officer  in  the  state? 

"Dry"  Wilson^s  friends  will  not  be  denied  a  satisfac- 
tory explanation.  He  may  have  been  indiscreet  in  some 
Df  his  utterances;  perhaps  he  has  not  shown  deference 
enough  to  his  superiors  in  office.     He  may  be  hard  to 

18 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

g«t  on  with.  But  the  stubborn  fact  remains  that  he  put 
teeth  into  the  law  and  made  it  bite.  Isn't  that  the  kind 
of  enforcement  officer  the  law  needs? 

Before  the  end  of  the  chapter,  which  has  not  been 
reached  quite  yet,  the  Washington  authorities  must  justi- 
fy their  course  in  separating  from  his  job  a  man  who 
had  put  the  job  on  the  map  in  a  way  to  make  a  lot  of 
Massachusetts*  politicians  wriggle  like  worms  on  a  hot 
shovel. 

There  is  not  the  slightest  doubt  in  my  mind,  or  in 
the  mind  of  Mr.  Average  Man,  who  was  responsible 
for  my  discharge. 

The  Washington  department  heads  cannot  be  held 
accountable.  Federal  Commissioner  Haynes  has  ad- 
mitted to  me  and  to  some  of  the  newspapers  in 
Washington  that  the  matter  of  my  retention  in  the 
service  was  beyond  his  control.  He  referred  inter- 
viewers to  Senator  Lodge,  and  Commissioner  Blair. 
Reference  to  some  of  the  newspapers  of  January  20 
and  21st  will  bear  me  out  in  this  statement. 

Commissioner  Blair  may  be  a  fine  fellow,  but  he 
has  made  little  impression  in  Washington  or  in  the 
country  at  large  relative  to  his  independence.  He  is 
a  typical  federal  office  holder.  He  is  neither  too 
aggressive,  nor  too  eager  for  unusual  accomplish- 
ment. He  does  as  he  is  told  with  alacrity  and  dis- 
patch, without  the  undue  exercise  of  gray  matter. 

In  the  Massachusetts  situation  he  was  told  quite 
forcibly  by  someone,  and  that  someone  was  certainly 
a  Massachusetts  man,  and  not  an  individual  hailing 
from  the  State  of  Oregon  or  some  other  remote  part 
of  the  U.  S.  A.  what  to  do — how  to  do  it,  and  when 
to  do  it.  It  makes  no  difference  whether  Senator 
Lodge  sent  directly  to  Commissioner  Blair  or  wheth- 
er he  acted  through  some  of  his  lieutenants,  such  as 
Congressman  Winslow  or  Charley  Innes.  The  re- 
sponsibility is  his.  He  was  in  somewhat  the  same 
position  as  the  old  Roman  Emperors  who  sealed  the 
fate  of  the  Gladiators  with  thumbs  down  or  thumbs 
up. 

The  Senator  chose  thumbs  down  and  in  so  doing 

14 


REMOVED   FOR  OVER  ZEALOUSNESS 

he  ran  true  to  form  in  his  opposition  to  prohibition. 
I  shall  deal  with  his  consistently  wet  record  in  a 
later  chapter,  but  simply  wish  to  make  it  clear  at 
this  point  that  he  was  the  one  man  in  Washington 
with  the  power  to  either  wash  his  hands  while  I  was 
railroaded  or  give  the  slightest  sign  of  approval  and 
keep  me  in  the  service. 

In  justice  to  the  Senator,  it  may  be  said  that  he 
was  illy  advised  by  Charley  Innes,  Congressmen 
Winslow  and  Tinkham,  and  others  closest  to  him, 
but  it  is  barely  possible  that  it  might  be  better  for 
prohibition  law  enforcement  in  Massachusetts  if  the 
Senior  Senator  was  more  attentive  to  the  suggestions 
of  such  dry  Congressmen  as  Dallinger,  Underbill  and 
Rogers  and  less  receptive  to  the  suggestions  of  tho3C 
who  are  recognized  as  wets. 

The  real  key  to  the  situation  is  summed  up  in  the 
following  brief  statement  which  sets  forth  the  exact 
information  I  received  at  the  Washington  Railroad 
Station,  on  my  last  pilgrimage  to  Washington.  My 
inf ormatif>n,  breifly,  was  as  follows,  and  was  received 
from  two  gentlemen  in  whom  I  have  explicit  confidence 

"Your  goose  is  cooked.,  You  may  accept  a  transfer 
to  another  state  or  get  out  of  the  service.  You  are  rid- 
ing certain  interests  so  persistently  and  so  unrelentingly 
that  you  must  be  removed  from  the  Massachusetts 
Field.  Your  activities  are  creating  opposition  that  will 
prove  accumulative  and  consequently  prove  dangerous 
in  the  Fall.  If  you  are  forcibly  removed,  there  will  be 
a  spasm  of  protest,  back  home  and  then  all  will  be  for- 
gotten long  before  the  fall  election." 

My  theory  and  the  theory  of  many  other  prohibi- 
tionists in  this  state  is  that  Senator  Lodge,  Gov. 
Cox  and  others  who  apparently  deem  the  wet  vote 
essential  to  their  success  are  entitled  to  all  of  these 
votes,  but  that  they  are  deserving  and  will  get  mighty 
few  of  the  church  or  dry  vote. 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

THE  QUINCY  HOUSE  RAID 
Chapter  11. 

On  Tuesday,  December  20,  1921,  I  returned  to  my 
office  in  the  Old  South  Building,  at  7:30  in  the  eve- 
ning, after  leading  a  successful  raid  on  the  Rossmore 
Hotel,  Boston,  Mass.  I  found  one  of  my  agents  and 
a  private  citizen,  whom  I  had  known  in  a  friendly  way 
as  one  interested  in  prohibition  enforcement,  await- 
ing my  return. 

The  citizen  said  to  me :  "Wilson,  do  you  know  what 
is  going  on  in  the  Quincy  House  tonight?" 

He  had  an  air  of  suppressed  excitement. 

I  immediately  smelled  the  smoke  of  battle  and 
asked  him  to  tell  his  story. 

"Well,"  said  he,"  about  all  the  Republican  leaders 
of  Massachusetts  are  down  there  at  a  dinner  to  Gov- 
ernor Cox,  lapping  up  booze  like  a  bunch  of  ward 
healers  at  an  old  time  *night  before\  They  are  all 
decked  out  with  red  tags  and  nearly  every  one  sport- 
ing a  tag  has  about  four  drinks  under  his  belt.  They 
are  so  drunk  that  if  you  tie  a  red  necktie  in  your  but- 
tonhole, you  will  easily  get  by  the  doorkeeper." 

I  reached  for  the  telephone,  then  paused:  "Do  you 
really  mean  it",  I  asked.  "Are  all  the  big  G.  O.  P. 
guns   present  ?" 

"True  as  I  stand  here",  said  the  man.  "Ask  your 
own  agent  when  he  returns.  He  is  down  to  the 
Quincy  House  investigating." 

I  then  learned  that  my  informant  had  brought  the 
information  to  the  office  sometime  before  and  that  one 
of  my  agents  was  personally  investigating  his  as- 
sertions. Agent  William  H.  McCray  rushed  into  the 
room  at  this  point  in  breathless  excitement  and  cried : 
"Chief  the  lid's  off  in  the  Quincy  House.  All  the 
Republican  politicians  in  the  State  are  crammed  in- 
to a  swell  young  barroom  trying  to  see  who  can  last 
the  longest.  It  is  a  regular  old  time  drinking  ca- 
rousal." 

1$ 


THE  QUINCY  HOUSE  RAID 

"Did  anyone  see  you  down  theref",  I  inquired,  fear- 
ful lest  he  had  given  away  the  tip. 

"Not  a  soul,  so  far  as  I  know",  he  replied. 

"All  right",  said  I,  "how  many  agents  do  we 
need?" 

"All  we  can  scare  up.  It  is  the  gayest  bunch  of 
booze  fighters  I  ever  saw  in  my  life.  We  will  surely 
get  into  trouble  if  we  hit  that  place  tonight." 

"Never  mind  the  trouble",  I  said,  "the  politicians 
have  no  more  right  in  this  matter  than  anyone  else." 

I  did  some  deep  thinking  for  a  few  minutes.  In 
a  flash  I  foresaw  all  the  sickening  and  farcical  court 
proceedings  which  were  later  to  be  paraded  before 
the  public  eye.  For  a  moment,  it  seemed  to  me  a 
poignant  tragedy  that  practically  all  the  political 
leaders  of  the  Republican  party,  my  own  party, 
should  be  gathered  together  in  a  public  place  openly 
flouting  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States. 

I  was  so  disgusted  at  this  monumental  hypocrisy 
that  nothing  could  have  stood  in  the  way  of  my  raid- 
ing that  banquet.  I  could  see  clearly,  however,  that 
such  a  raid  meant  the  beginning  of  the  end  for  me 
as  Prohibition  Chief. 

*'Boys,"  I  said,  turning  to  my  two  agents,  "it 
probably  means  your  jobs.    Are  you  with  me?*' 

"You  bet,"  they  cried  enthusiastically,  "let's  go." 

I  knew  that  every  conceivable  technicality  would 
be  resorted  to  by  the  parties  involved  to  get  the  case 
thrown  out  of  court,  so  I  resolved  to  get  a  search 
warrant  at  any  cost,  if  there  was  any  conceivable 
way  in  which  to  do  so.  For  a  moment,  I  was  wor- 
ried, for  I  realized  that  the  United  States  Commis- 
sioner, William  A.  Hayes,  the  Mr.  Pickwick  of  the 
Federal  Building,  would  never  issue  a  search  war- 
rant for  a  raid  on  a  Republican  party.  Then  it  oc- 
curred to  me  that  Commissioner  Hayes  was  not 
sitting  at  that  time  and  that  I  might  apply  to  Comr 
missioner  William  S.  Nelson,  whom  I  knew  as  a  fair 
and  always  impartial  watch-dog  of  the  law. 

17 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

I  grabbed  the  telephone  and  called  Commissioner 
Nelson's  home.  He  was  not  there.  His  family  could 
not  tell  me  where  he  was.  I  told  them  that  it  was 
a  matter  of  life  and  death  and  that  I  must  locate 
him.  They  replied  that  the  Commissioner  was  quite 
fond  of  bowling-,  and  that  he  might  possibly  be  found 
at  the  City  Club. 

The  next  two  hours  were  the  most  hectic  of  my 
seven  months'  administration  as  enforcement  agent. 

I  seized  my  hat  and  coat  and  hurried  to  the  City 
Club.  Luck  seemed  to  be  against  me.  The  Commis- 
sioner had  been  bowling  but  had  left  the  Club  less 
than  ten  minutes  before  my  arrival.  I  drove  to  his 
office  on  State  street.  There  was  a  man  present  in 
the  office  but  he  did  not  know  where  the  Commis- 
sioner had  gone.  I  returned  to  my  own  office  and 
began  jingling  the  telephone  again.  I  called  his 
home,  the  City  Club,  and  his  office  in  rotation,  but 
without  results.  I  left  word  for  him  to  call  me  if 
he  should  return  to  any  of  these  places.  I  also  tried 
to  locate  one  of  the  Assistant  United  States  Attor- 
neys, but  without  success. 

By  9:30  I  became  so  disgusted  and  discouraged 
with  the  prospects  of  obtaining  a  Federal  warrant 
that  I  went  to  the  Police  Headquarters  at  Pember- 
ton  Square  to  see  Captain  Reardon,  whom  I  had 
found  to  be  a  mighty  accommodating  friend.  I 
told  the  Captain  that  I  was  very  anxious  to  secure 
a  State  warrant  in  order  to  raid  a  big  political  party. 
He  told  me  that  I  was  "out  of  luck",  as  there  was  no 
way  of  obtaining  an  emergency  warrant  at  that  time 
of  the  night. 

I  then  told  the  Captain  that  I  was  going  through 
with  the  raid  any  way,  warrant  or  no  warrant. 
While  my  unfailing  policy  had  always  been  to  re- 
spect the  Constitutional  guarantee  against  undue 
search  and  seizure,  in  this  case  it  seemed  to  me  that 
public  officials  in  whom  the  great  people  of  Massa- 
chusetts had  placed  their  most  sacred  trust,  and  who 

1% 


THE  QUINCY  HOUSE  RAID 

in  return  were  openly  breaking  tne  Constitution,  de- 
served no  protection  from  the  Constitution.  I  de- 
cided that  I  would  be  an  opportunist  in  this  case, 
go  to  the  Quincy  House,  look  around  for  myself 
and  see  if  there  was  not  some  legal  way  in  which  to 
interrupt  this   Bacchanalian   outlawry. 

I  was  just  about  to  leave  when  Captain  Reardon's 
telephone  rang.  The  Captain  turned  the  call  over  to 
me,  and  the  excited  voice  of  my  agent,  Peter  Sul- 
livan, greeted  me. 

* 'Commissioner  Nelson  has  arrived  home  and  will 
see  you  immediately." 

**Goodbye/'  I  yelled,  slamming  down  the  receiver, 
and  grabbing  my  hat.  The  Commissioner  lived  in 
the  Back  Bay,  but  at  that  time  of  the  night  the 
streets  were  almost  empty  and  my  automobile  made 
short  work  of  the  trip.  I  picked  up  Mr.  Nelson  and 
drove  him  to  the  Federal  Building. 

We  entered  his  office  and  made  an  unsuccessful 
search  for  a  warrant  form.  The  Commissioner  then 
went  to  the  office  of  an  Assistant  United  States  At- 
torney, called  the  janitor,  entered  the  room,  took  a 
search  warrant  from  its  accustomed  place,  and  re- 
turned to  his  own  office.  He  filled  out  the  blank, 
sigfned  it,  and  handed  it  to  me. 

With  regard  to  the  obtaining  of  this  warrant,  I 
wish  to  interrupt  my  narrative  long  enough  to  make 
a  reply  to  the  charge,  made  later,  that  the  United 
States  Attorney's  office  was  raided  by  Wilson.  In 
fact,  most  of  the  papers  came  out  with  flaring  head- 
lines "WILSON  STAGED  TWO  RAIDS— ONE 
ON  THE  UNITED  STATES  ATTORNEY'S 
OFFICE  AND  THE  OTHER  ON  THE  G.  O.  P. 
POLITICIANS  AT  THE  QUINCY  HOUSE." 

The  facts  are  exactly  as  I  have  related.  There  was 
no  "raid"  or  second-story  work  in  the  District  At- 
torney's Office.  This  was  an  inspired  charge,  foment- 
ed by  the  corporeal  outpost  of  the  "wets"  in  Con- 
gress, George  Holden  Tinkham. 

19 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

A  few  days  after  the  Quincy  House  raid,  Congress- 
man Tinkham  blew  into  the  Federal  Building,  and 
breathed  the  germs  of  his  Anti-Volstead  temper 
about  the  corridors. 

United  Stntes  Attorney  Robert  O.  Harris  caught 
the  fever.  Judge  Harris  is  a  pliable,  accommodat- 
ing, harmless  sort  of  official  who  lends  dignity  to  his 
office  because  he  looks  as  if  he  were  a  hard  working 
man.  Of  course,  all  the  genuine  work  is  supposed 
to  be  done  by  his  assistants. 

When  Congressman  Tinkham  came  along  with  a 
tomahawk  sharpened  for  Wilson's  scalp,  Judge 
Harris  picked  it  up  and  feebly  tried  to  wield  it. 
With  the  puny  bluster  of  which  he  is  capable,  he  an- 
nounced that  he  was  "indignant"  because  his  office 
had  been  "broken  into."  He  was  quoted  as  saying 
that  he  did  not  believe  in  such  spectacular  law  en- 
forcement as  raids  on  G.  O.  P.  banquets,  and  that  his 
office  should  have  been  consulted.  The  Judge  hap- 
pened to  be  in  Washington  at  the  time  of  the  raid, 
and  the  natural  inference  from  newspaper  articles 
attributed  to  him  was  that  the  sanctity  of  the  Quincy 
House  G.  O.  P.  liquor-lubricating  party  never  would 
have  been  violated  if  he  had  been  in  Boston.  The 
fact  is  that  law  enforcement  officials  can  not  afford  to 
wait  for  "stop-and-go^*  signals  from  Judge  Harris 
before  getting  busy.  My  custom  is  to  move  by  the 
minute. 

To  return  to  the  raid,  Commissioner  Nelson's  war- 
rant was  my  red  tag  **ticket"  to  the  Quincy  House 
banquet.  I  hurried  out  of  the  Federal  Building,  and 
on  Devonshire  Street  picked  up  six  of  my  agents 
who  had  been  hastily  gathered  together  by  one  of 
my  assistant  deputies,  Sullivan.  I  instructed  the  men 
to  scatter  and  meet  me  in  the  alley-way  which  leads 
from  Cornhill  into  Brattle  Street. 

Five  minutes  later,  about  10.^5  P.  M.,  we  gathered 
at  the  appointed  place.  I  selected  two  agents  and 
started  with  them  for  the  hotel  door.    My  purpose 

20 


THE  QUINCY  HOUSE  RAID 

was  to  reconnoiter  before  "pulling"  the  party,  in  or- 
der to  ascertain  for  my  own  satisfaction  the  source 
of  supply. 

I  had  only  to  enter  the  lobby  to  know  that  the 
trail  was  extremely  hot.  The  lobby  was  heavy  with 
the  odors  of  hard  liquor.  I  have  been  a  teetotaler 
all  my  Hfe  and  I  do  not  beleive  that  my  nostrils  d,xj 
any  more  sensitive  to  the  smell  of  whiskey  than  those 
of  any  other  person.  Just  how  any  man  with  normal 
senses  could  have  walked  through  the  lobby  of  the 
Quincy  House  that  night  without  suspecting  what 
was  going  on  upstairs  is  a  mystery  to  me. 

I  am  sure  no  one  in  the  lobby  recognized  me.  We 
strolled  leisurely  across  to  the  stairway  and  went  up 
one  flight.  From  the  end  of  a  long  corridor  there 
came  muffled  echoes  of  laughter  and  hilarity.  I 
passed  two  side  corridors  and  then  turned  into  a  long 
corridor  leading  directly  to  a  closed  door.  I  might 
add  at  this  time  that  I  did  not  know  where  the  liquor 
was  being  dispensed,  but  was  able  to  go  straight  to 
it  following  the  odor  and  the  noise. 

I  fouhd  the  door  to  the  sanctum,  dedicated  to  the 
God  of  Bacchus,  locked.  Guarding  this  door,  in  the 
role  of  sentry,  was  ex-Senator  Charles  H.  Innes,  no- 
torious Ward  Seven  boss,  long  Czar  of  the  G.  O.  P. 
City  machine  and  reputed  in  be  an  intimate  friend 
of  Governor  Channing  H.  Cox  and  Senator  Henry 
Cabot  Lodge.  Mr.  Innes  knows  me  well  but  for 
some  reason  which  I  shall  not  attempt  to  analyze,  he 
failed  to  recognize  me. 

**How  do  you  get  in,"  I  inquired. 

"Knock  on  the  door  and  they  will  let  you  in,"  he 
replied. 

I  knocked  once,  then  twice,  and  the  door  was 
opened. .  There  was  too  much  noise  coming  from  the 
inside  for  anyone  to  have  heard  the  first  knock.  Al- 
though the  red  tag  was  the  symbol  entitling  the  hold- 
er to  an  unlimited  number  of  drinks,  those  in  charge 
of  the  private  dining-room  were  apparently  so  far 

■..'.:.  v:..-        21 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

gone  that  they  could  not  tell  whether  my  agents  and 
I  possessed  red  tags  or  wore  bathing  suits. 

The  first  thing  which  greeted  my  eyes  was  a 
drunken  politician  stretched  out  on  the  floor  near  the 
wall.  And  I  may  anticipate  my  story  by  saying  that 
this  poor  fellow  who  gave  silent  testimonial  to  the 
effectiveness  of  the  'White  Horse';'  kick,  remained 
blissfully  ignorant  of  the  somewhat  agitated  proceed- 
ings which  went  on  later. 

The  private  dining  room  was  some  forty  feet  in 
length  and  possibly  half  as  wide.  It  was  furnished 
with  a  piano  and  two  long  tables  tastily  covered  with 
long  white  tablecloths  and  some  three  or  four  hun- 
dred glasses  of  all  kinds,  all  either  empty  or  emptied. 
Behind  the  booze  laden  bar  or  tables  were  stationed 
two  bartenders  with  the  usual  white  coat  and  apron. 
Within  easy  reach  of  the  dispensers  of  liquors  were 
six  galvanized  washtubs  filled  with  cocktails  and 
some  six  peach  baskets  filled  with  "White  Horse" 
whiskey. 

Nobody  paid  any  attention  to  my  agents  or  to  me. 
Over  in  one  comer  the  pianist  was  pounding  out  wild 
jazz,  and  two  men  who  had  clearly  sipped  the  sweet 
nectar  of  the  Innes-G.  O.  P.  cocktails  were  outdoing 
each  other  in  a  vocal  discord  contest.  The  white- 
coated  barkeepers  were  pattering  here  and  there, 
clinking  glasses,  crunching  ice  and  mixing  up  more 
drinks.  I  walkd  up  to  the  tables,  picked  up  a  par- 
tially emptied  bottle,  and  smelled  of  it.  There  was 
no  question  as  to  its  alcoholic  content.  One  smell 
was  sufficient,  and  judging  by  the  appearance  and 
antics  of  some  of  the  assembled  "red  tag"  gentlemen, 
one  drink  would  have  been  more  than  sufficient. 
One  of  the  bartenders  looked  at  me  innocently,  and 
asked  "What  will  you  have?" 

I  did  not  answer,  but  walked  around  behind  the 
bar  and  inspected  the  paraphernalia  behind  the 
scenes. 

The  bartenders  appeared  much  amused  at  my  ac- 

22 


THE  QUINCY  HOUSE  RAID 

tions  and  up  to  this  time  no  one  else  had  paid  any 
attention.  At  this  point  one  of  the  saturnalian 
revellers  stepped  up  to  the  table  and  asked  for  an- 
other cocktail.  I  stepped  between  the  bartender  and 
the  thirsty  "law  and  order"  disciple,  and  said  **This 
has  gone  far  enough.  No  more  booze  will  be  served 
tonight." 

"How  come?"  said  the  other  fellow  indignantly, 
"Have  a  heart.  Can't  you  see  my  red  tag.  I  was 
told  the  sky  was  the  limit.     I  demand  another  drink." 

I  then  announced  myself  as  Wilson,  the  Prohibi- 
tion Chief.  I  shall  never  forget  the  look  of  helpless 
dismay  that  came  over  this  man*s  face.  He  was 
stunned. 

"Oh,  Charlie,"  he  said,  turning  to  some  of  the 
other  men  in  an  unbelieving  way,  "what  do  you  know 
about  this.    Wilson's  with  us." 

The  jazz  music  in  the  corner  ended  in  a  crashing 
discord  and  the  "red  tag"  champions  of  law  and  or- 
der, many  of  them  in  various  stages  of  intoxication, 
crowded  about  me.  I  ordered  my  two  agents  to 
gather  up  the  whiskey  bottles  and  the  carafes  of  gin 
cocktails,  and  place  them  in  a  corner.  Most  of  the 
guests  were  too  stupified  to  do  anything  but  watch 
operations  with  an  air  of  amazement.  So  much 
liquor  had  found  its  way  into  their  stomachs  that  it 
took  some  time  for  the  real  purport  of  the  raid  to 
percolate  into  their  befuddled  brains.  I  placed  two 
of  my  agents  as  guards  over  the  contraband,  and 
started  out  to  get  my  other  men.  I  had  no  sooner 
reached  the  corridor  when  I  was  surrounded  by  poli- 
ticians importuning  me  to  "quit  and  forget  it." 
They  tried  to  stop  me  by  putting  their  arms  around 
me  and  begged  me  in  the  name  of  the  G.  O.  P,  to 
stop. 

Charley  Innes,  the  outpost  of  the  whiskey  sanctum, 
had  partially  recovered  his  poise,  and  led  the  assault 
of  the  repentant  ones  who  deprecated  my  efforts  to 
prove  law  and  order  or  law  enforcement    applied 

23 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

equally  to  Republican  politicians  and  to  striking 
policemen. 

**Wilson,"  said  he,  "you  are  killing  yourself  poli- 
tically.    Don't  do  itj'* 

"What  has  politics  to  do  with  law  enforcement," 
I  inquired. 

And  he  answered :  "Why,  you  are  raiding  the  Gov- 
ernor's banquet.  You  will  ruin  your  own  party. 
We  will  never  stand  for  this.  You  are  cutting  your 
own  throat." 

I  do  not  know  what  else  they  said  to  me  or  what 
else  I  said  in  reply.  There  was  such  an  uproar  of 
talking,  threatening  and  bickering  that  I  was  im- 
mensely relieved  when  I  had  run  the  gauntlet  of  the 
politicians  assembled  in  the  corridor  and  was  allowed 
to  pass  on  to  the  hotel  lobby. 

I  had  no  sooner  passed  out  of  sight  than  the  same 
politicians  rushed  into  the  private  dining  room  and 
informed  my  agents  that  Wilson  had  been  fixed  up, 
and  that  he  had  gone  home.  The  agents  were  ad- 
vised to  quietly  beat  it,  as  they  had  raided  a  big  G. 
O.  P.  banquet.  My  men  refused  to  leave,  however, 
asserting  that  they  would  not  believe  Wilson  had 
been  fixed  until  they  brought  him  back  in  a  coffin. 

I  immediately  summonsed  the  other  agents,  placed 
three  on  guard  at  the  doors  and  took  one  man  and 
entered  the  main  dining  room  on  the  first  floor  without 
announcing  myself.  I  am  pleased  to  state  that  I  did 
not  discover  any  evidence  that  would  lead  me  to  be- 
lieve liquor  hsd  been  served  in  that  room,  although 
I  saw  plenty  of  evidence  that  some  of  the  men  present 
had  drank  considerable  more  than  they  knew  how  to 
handle. 

Calling  another  agent  into  the  main  dining  room  I 
left  two  to  watch  proceedings,  while  I  took  the  other 
two  agents  and  went  back  to  the  private  dining  room. 

In  the  meanwhile,  a  large  number  of  the  banquet- 
ers had  found  the  strain  of  political  speeches  too 
boresome,  and  had  come  up  in  search  of  liquid  refresh- 

24 


THE  QUINCY  HOUSE  RAID 

ment.  When  I  arrived  I  found  fifty  or  more  *'red 
tagged'*  men  crowded  into  the  room,  talking  and 
whispering  in  small  groups.  More  of  the  revellers 
from  down  stairs  kept  rushing  to  the  bar  room  as 
news  of  the  raid  spread,  until  fully  a  hundred  "red 
tagged"  politicians  had  clearly  convicted  themselves 
of  full  knowledge  of  the  disgraceful  orgy  upstairs. 

I  then  learned  from  the  agents  who  had  been  guard- 
ing the  liquor  another  interesting  fact,  namely,  the 
affair  was  entirely  legal.  The  boozing  politicians 
had  a  permit  from  the  State  Director  of  Prohibition, 
my  immediate  superior,  and  the  Director  himself, 
Mr.  Elmer  C.  Potter,  was  a  guest  at  the  banquet. 
This  phase  of  the  situation  will  be  covered  in  the 
next  chapter. 

Then,  without  further  ado,  I  directed  the  seizure 
of  all  the  liquor  and  a  part  of  the  paraphernalia 
which  had  been  used  in  the  room.  This  was  later 
loaded  into  an  automobile  and  taken  to  my  office  in 
the  Old  South  Building.  Thirty-six  carafes  of  gin 
cocktails  were  found,  sixteen  of  which  had  been 
emptied,  and  four  bottles  filled  with  "White  Horse" 
whiskey.  Apparently,  some  twenty  bottles  of 
"White  Horse"  had  been  emptied  prior  to  the  break- 
ing up  of  the  festivities. 

While  we  were  packing  up  the  "White  Horse",  and 
cocktail  carafes,  there  was  a  great  deal  of  talking 
and  fatherly  advice  for  Wilson.  Many  of  the  men 
urged  me  to  call  off  my  agents,  and  they  would  see 
to  it  that  I  was  well  cared  for.  One  of  the  men  who 
did  a  great  deal  of  talking,  but  said  little,  was  Robert 
J.  Bottomley,  Charley  Innes'  chief  messenger  boy, 
•I'ld  at  one  time  a  most  enthusiastic,  -ven  if  unsuc- 
cessful, candidate  for  Attorney  General.  It  is  to  Mr. 
Bottomley's  credit,  or  discredit,  as  you  may  choose 
to  take  it,  that  he  did  a  great  deal  of  laughing  and 
took  the  affair  as  a  huge  joke. 

I  recognized  a  large  number  of  other  men,  but  to 
parade  their  names  before  the  public  would  be  vicious 

25 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

and  wholly  uncalled-for.  I  have  no  doubt  that  many 
of  the  yotmger  politicians  were  stampeded  into  this 
affair  by  the  mass  action  resulting  from  the  imwis« 
and  lawless  actions  of  false  political  leaders.  I  will 
say,  however,  that  while  the  dry  agents  were  packing 
up  the  bottles  and  decanters,  an  employee  of  the 
hotel  rushed  in  with  a  hurry-up  order  for  a  bottle  of 
"White  Horse"  whiskey  for  a  Judge  of  the  Superior 
Court  of  Massachusetts. 

The  Judge*s  name  was  mentioned  quite  distinctly 
and  is  known  to  several  of  my  agents. 

When  we  returned  downstairs  with  our  spoils,  the 
banquet  to  the  Governor  had  broken  up.  Some  of 
those  who  had  gone  upstairs  for  a  drink  had  returned 
to  the  banquet  hall  to  spread  the  awful  news.  My 
agents  later  repeated  to  me  some  of  the  husky,  whis- 
pered messages  which  they  heard  passed  on  by  offi- 
cials at  the  head  table. 

"Did  you  hear  the  news,"  said  one  high  State 
official.     "Wilson  has  raided  the  bar  upstairs." 

"What,"  returned  his  neighbor,  "you're  crazy." 

The  news  apparently  spread  like  wildfire  and  the 
banquet  promptly  broke  up  in  a  decidedly  chilly  at- 
p:csphere.  As  we  passed  through  the  lobby,  hun- 
dreds of  men  were  hurrying  out.  And  there  is  no 
finer  commentary  on  the  whole  disgraceful  affair 
than  the  frantic  endeavors  on  the  following  day  bv 
men  who  were  erroneously  reported  as  being  present 
to  get  newspaper  publicity  to  the  effect  that  they 
were  not  at  the  banquet. 

The  argument  as  to  my  f  oolhardiness  in  raiding  the 
Governor's  banquet  was  discussed  quite  vehemently 
by  a  number  of  well-known  "pols/*  when  I  was  mak- 
ing my  get-away  from  the  hotel. 

"You  won't  last  a  week,"  said  one.  "I  will  give 
you  just  ^ivf;  days  before  you  get  the  grand  bounce." 

"Why,"  said  I? 

"Because  you  have  brought  disgrace  on  the  Re- 


THE  QUINCY  HOUSE  RAID 

publican  party,"  said  he,  "and  the  big  fellows  will 
not  stand  for  it." 

These  politicians  were  still  talking  when  I  broke 
away  and  returned  to  my  office  in  the  Old  South 
Building. 

It  has  been  said  that  I  staged  this  raid  for 
spectacular  rjffect,  but  if  I  had  wanted  to  be  sensa- 
tional I  could  have  made  the  affair  much  more  dis- 
agreeable. 

If  the  Governor  and  other  leading  G.  O.  P.  politi- 
cians have  been  quoted  correctly,  I  raided  so  quietly 
that  they  did  not  even  know  that  I  had  come  and 
gone.  If  I  had  seen  fit  to  make  a  thorough  search 
under  the  tables  and  in  other  places  in  the  main  din- 
ing-room,which  I  had  a  perfect  right  to  do  with  my 
search  warrant,  the  affair  would  have  been  spectacu- 
lar enough  to  satisfy  the  most  fastidious.  Unfortun- 
ately, some  people  never  know  when  they  have  been 
treated  decently. 

I  have  been  told  by  many  leading  politicians  that 
I  should  have  given  the  Governor  and  the  other  red 
tagged  gentlement  twenty  minutes  warning  before 
raiding.  If  I  had  done  so  the  publicity  attending 
the  Quincy  House  G.  O.  P.  drinking  contest  would 
have  been  still  more  sensational  and  injurious  to  the 
party.  Prohibition  would  have  indeed  been  a  farce. 
I  never  warned  the  small  fry  when  raiding,  what 
manner  of  justice  would  have  been  served  if  the 
wealthier  and  more  influential  culprits  were  allowed 
sufficient  time  in  which  to  make  a  get  away.  It  is 
such  law  enforcement  methods  that  lead  to  anarchism 
and  general  discontent. 


27 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

IGNORANCE  SUBLIME 
Chapter  III. 

One  phase  of  the  Quincy  House  Raid  that  I  will 
treat  in  this  chapter  is  the  charge  that  it  was  inspired 
by  personal  spite,  or  because  of  a  spirit  of  vengeance 
against  my  immediate  superior,  Prohibition  Director 
Elmer  C.  Potter.  I  did  not  know  that  Mr.  Potter 
was  present  at  this  particular  banquet  or  that  he  had 
issued  a  permit  for  the  transportation  of  liquors  to 
the  Quincy  House.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  as  already 
stated  in  a  previous  chapter,  I  did  not  know  that 
there  was  to  be  a  Republican  banquet  until  7:30  P. 
M.  on  the  night  of  the  raid.  I  was  more  surprised 
when  I  learned  that  a  permit  had  been  issued  for 
the  transportation  of  the  liquor  used  at  this  dis- 
graceful Constitution-breaking  event  than  any  of  my 
agents.  In  fact,  when  the  matter  was  first  brought 
to  my  attention,  I  refused  to  pay  any  attention,  hot 
believing  that  such  a  thing  could  be  possible.  Finally, 
one  of  my  agents  insisted  that  I  look  at  the  permit. 
I  have  two  affidavits  in  my  possession  at  the  present 
time  to  bear  out  the  truth  of  this  statement. 

The  day  following  the  Quincy  House  raid  and  for 
that  matter  every  day  since  that  historical  and  hys- 
terical evening,  I  have  been  charged  with  staging  the 
raid  because  of  the  so-called  '* Wilson-Potter"  feud." 
This  statement  is  as  absurd  and  false  as  the  other 
mouthings  of  the  lawless  politicians  who  sought  some 
excuse  for  their  own  connection  with  this  outrage- 
ous desecration  of  the  Constitution  and  the  sacred 
trusts  of  their  constituents. 

There  is  a  definite  psychology  in  the  stories  which 
linked  me  in  a  "spite-feud"  with  Mr.  Potter.  When 
a  man  is  guilty,  he  immediately  seeks  to  avert  sus- 
picion by  pointing  his  finger  at  another,  and  saying: 
"Look  you,  look  you,  I  am  not  guilty.  There  is  the 
guilty  man."    That  is  the  reason  the  politicians  have 


IGNORANCE  SUBLIME 

sought  to  atone  for  their  own  shortcomings  by  trying 
to  represent  Wilson  as  a  "spite-fiend." 

If  the  men  who  thus  dragged  the  Constitution  in 
the  filth  of  the  gutter  are  to  be  permitted  to  remain 
in  control  of  the  Republican  party,  what  faith,  I  ask, 
can  we  have  in  Massachusetts? 

I  did  know,  of  course,  that  Governor  Cox  was  pres- 
ent and  hat  he  was  the  guest  of  honor,  but  did  not 
know  that  it  was  to  be  the  occasion  for  announcing  his 
candidacy  for  a  second  term.  It  would  not  have 
maae  any  difference,  however,  if  I  had  known  this 
fact.  I  did  not  give  the  question  of  any  effect  the 
raid  might  have  upon  his  re-election  any  considera- 
tion. I  was  a  law  enforcement  officer  and  I  knew  the 
law  was  being  violated.  My  duty  was  plain.  Party 
affiliations  or  friendships  or  sympathy  for  any  par- 
ticular public  official  had  nothing  to  do  with  the 
affair. 

It  was  said  that  the  raid  was  inspired  to  ruin  Gov- 
ernor Cox  politically.  My  tip  did  not  come  from  a 
politician,  and  if  the  affair  had  been  a  political  frame- 
up  more  care  would  have  been  taken  to  see  that  it 
was  actually  carried  through  to  a  satisfactory  con- 
clusion. 

It  was  only  chance  that  brought  me  back  to  my 
office  that  night.  The  men  working  with  me  at  the 
Rossmore  Hotel,  the  place  raided  about  5 :30  o'clock 
on  the  evening  of  the  Quincy  House  banquet  were 
unable  to  continue  with  me  f  ^  •  another  raid,  and  so 
I  returned  to  my  office  for  additional  help.  If  my 
plans  had  not  miscued,  I  would  have  been  in  another 
city  during  the  G.  O.  P.  love-feast. 

Practical  politicians  who  are  trying  to  frame  a 
governor  or  an  entire  political  party  do  not  trust  to 
chance.  Their  plans  are  well  laid  and  executed  with 
precision. 

If  His  Excellency,  the  Governor,  Channing  H. 
Coxj  was  betrayed  on  the  evening  of  December  20, 
1921,  it  was  by  his  most  intimate  friend  and  closest 

SO 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

political  henchman,  the  Hon.  Charles  H.  Innes. 

Either  Innes  betrayed  the  Governor  or  His  Excel- 
lency was  cognizant  or  favored  the  second  floor 
booze  party,  there  is  no  other  alternative. 

Granting  the  worst,  that  is,  admitting  for  the  sake 
of  argument,  that  I  knew  the  State  Director  was  pres- 
ent at  the  banquet,  and  that  he  had  issued  a  permit 
for  said  banquet,  and  that  I  was  gunning  for  the 
political  scalp  of  Governor  Channing  H.  Cox,  my 
personal  motive,  whether  good  or  bad,  could  not  in 
any  way  clear  the  gentlemen  who  were  present  or  had 
knowledge  of  the  disgraceful  drinking  debauchery 
staged  in  an  upstairs  chamber. 

Most  of  the  bootleggers  captured  during  my 
regime  as  Chief  Enforcement  Officer  were  captured 
through  some  spite  tip  trom  a  former  accomplice. 
Most  criminals,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  are  caught 
through  leaks  from  their  most  intimate  pals. 

Every  bootlegger  and  every  "wet"  politician  in 
the  State  was  gunning  for  my  scalp  and,  in  fact, 
many  of  the  "wet"  politicians  are  still  looking  for 
some  technicality  on  which  to  hang  me.  If  I  had 
stubbed  my  toe  as  Prohibition  Chief  and  been 
framed  by  some  "near''  statesman,  whose  booze 
joint  I  had  raided,  how  much  sympathy  would  I  have 
received  ? 

The  way  of  the  transgressor  is  hard.  The  safest 
road  is  the  straight  and  narrow  way,  so  aptly  de- 
scribed in  the  Bible. 

I  have  absolutely  no  sympathy  for  Governor  Cox. 
He  was  a  voluntary  guest  at  the  Quincy  House  ban- 
quet. It  was  staged  in  his  honor,  and  certainly  any 
of  his  wishes  relative  to  the  dispensing  of  liquor  on 
the  second  floor  or  anywhere  else  in  the  hotel  would 
have  been  respected. 

He  was  in  the  hands  of  his  most  intimate  friends. 
Ernest  J.  Goulston,  host  of  the  evening,  was  his  ad- 
vertising manager  during  his  campaign  for  the  Gov- 
ernorship, and  according  to  Mr.  Goulston's  own  ad- 

30 


IGNORANCE  SUBLIME 

mission,   has   known   the    Governor  intimately    for 
years. 

I  wish  to  state  at  this  point  that  I  do  not  agree 
with  the  Anti-Saloon  League's  statement  in  which 
Mr.  Goulston's  motives  in  staging  the  Quincy  House 
banquet  are  impeached. 

The  League  officials  assert  the  affair  was  a  huge 
advertising  scheme  to  boost  the  new  cafeteria  in  the 
Quincy  House.  I  do  not  believe  that  such  a  state- 
ment is  in  accordance  with  the  facts.  Mr.  Goulston, 
(however  I  may  differ  from  him  on  the  liquor  question 
and  on  politics  in  general),  is  not  that  type  of  man.  I 
have  talked  with  a  number  of  newspaper  men  who 
know  him  intimately  and  are  doing  business  with 
him  practically  every  day.  They  all  agree  that  Ern- 
est J.  Goulston  is  a  typical  "go-through"  advertis- 
ing man,  and  that  when  he  manages  a  banquet,  or  any 
other  party,  he  puts  on  the  best  that  money  will  buy. 
Few,  cognizant  of  the  facts  relative  to  the  Quincy 
House  banquet,  will  gainsay  that  from  a  joy-produc- 
ing, stonhach-satisfying  standpoint,  the  famous 
"White  Horse"  revelry  was  a  glorious  success. 

Mr.  Elmer  C.  Potter,  who  issued  the  permit,  ad- 
mits that  he  is  a  close  friend  of  the  Governor,  al- 
though the  Governor  has  not  admitted  any  particular 
intimacy  on  his  part. 

Mr.  Harold  G.  Kern,  the  holder  of  the  permit,  is  a 
very  close  friend  of  Mr.  Goulston,  in  fact,  he  is  re- 
ported as  being  associated  with  him  in  his  advertising 
business.  Certainly,  Mr.  Kern  was  not  a  willing 
partner  to  any  frame-up  on  his  Excellency,  the  Gov- 
ernor. 

Last,  but  not  least,  the  Honorable  Charles  H. 
Innes,  outside  guardian  at  the  portals  of  "wet"  bliss, 
was  not  a  party  to  the  betrayal  of  his  last  ace  in  the 
political  game. 

Charley  Innes  and  Governor  Cox  hail  from  the 
same  ward.     Mr.  Innes  was  the  Governor's  most  ar 
dent  sponsor  when  he  was  first  elected  to  the  Com- 

91 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

mon  Council,  and  then  later  when  he  was  elected  to 
the  House  of  Representatives,  and  subsequently  pro- 
moted to  the  Speakership.  He  was  still  his  staunch 
supporter  when  Speaker  Cox  was  elected  Lieutenant- 
Governor,  and  then  in  1920  Governor  of  the  great 
Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts. 

Charley  Innes*  political  history  is  quite  interesting. 
He  was  a  member  of  the  Common  Council  in  1896. 
the  next  year  was  elected  to  the  Legislature,  and  later 
served  two  terms  in  the  Senate.  Mr.  Innes  is  credit- 
ed with  being  more  of  a  political  Czar  in  his  own 
ward  than  Martin  Lamasney  the  Mahatma  of  Ward 
Five.  Certainly,  he  has  been  more  successful  in  de- 
livering the  votes  of  his  ward.  He  is  the  Disraeli  of 
Republican  State  politics.  The  following  picture  of 
Mr.  Innes  by  the  "practical  painter,^  a  writer  for  a 
Boston  newspaper,  eighteen  years  ago,  is  interesting. 
According  to  this  writer,  "Mr.  Innes  and  his  follow- 
ers are  very  practical,  very  practical.  They  slay 
their  enemies,  high  and  low,  in  both  parties  and  at 
any  time,  and  those  who  think  they  can  carry  Ward 
Ten  without  the  aid  of  Mr.  Innes  are  usually  doomed 
to  a  regrettable  awakening.** 

In  view  of  the  close  and  cordial  association  of 
Governor  Cox,  Charley  Innes,  and  Ernest  J.  Goul- 
ston,  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  believe  that  the  Gov- 
ernor was  absolutely  without  knowledge  of  the  G.  O. 
P.  liquor  "love-feast**  on  the  second  floor  of  the 
Quincy  House  on  the  evening  of  the  famous  raid. 

His  statement,  given  out  the  day  following  the 
raid,  does  not  sound  as  well  as  many  he  has  since  is- 
sued at  Christian  Endeavor  and  other  Church  func- 
tions. According  to  practically  every  newspaper  in 
Boston,  he  was  quoted  on  December  21st  as  follows : 

*T  saw  nothing  out  of  the  way  at  the  dinner,  and 
I  hope  that  Mr.  Wilson  felt  he  was  performing  his 
duty  and  that  he  had  no  other  purpose.  It  is  the 
duty  of  every  officer  to  enforce  the  law,  and  I  hope 
it  will  always  be  done." 

82 


IGNORANCE  SUBLIME 

What  does  his  Excellency  mean  by  "he  hopes  Mr. 
Wilson  felt  he  was  performing  his  duty?"  How  did 
the  Governor  feel?  Mr.  Wilson's  emotions  are  of 
little  consequence  or  the  motive  that  prompted  the 
raid.  What  the  people  of  Massachusetts  were  inter- 
ested in  at  that  time,  and  what  they  are  still  interest- 
ed in,  is  whether  or  not  the  Governor  of  this  great 
Commonwealth  was  a  part  and  parcel  of  this  dis- 
graceful Constitution-flouting  affair. 

In  view  of  the  above  weak-kneed  statement  and  the 
fact  that  the  Governor  has  still  failed  to  repudiate 
the  active  managers  of  the  "second  floor  bar  room", 
it  is  going  to  be  difHcult  to  convince  the  dry  forces 
of  Massachusetts  that  he  was  entirely  innocent. 

When  Mr.  Cox  repudiates  Charles  H.  Innes  and 
Charles  disowns  the  Governor,  black  will  be  white, 
and  the  bona  fide  dry  forces  of  Massachusetts  will 
admit  that  his  Excellency  is  dry  from  conviction 
rather  than  from  urgent,  imperative  necessity.  I  am 
not  prepared  to  state  that  the  Governor  speaks  one 
way  and  drinks  another,  but  I  have  no  hesitation  in 
asserting  that  his  "dry"  votes  have  been  from  policy 
rather  than  from  conviction,  and  with  such  an  ardeat 
"wetV  as  Charley  Innes  for  an  adviser,  the  pressure 
of  policy,  in  some  instances,  must  have  been  mighty 
strong. 

Governor  Cox  is  a  congenial,  likeable  man.  He  is 
termed  as  a  good  fellow  among  men.  No  one  could 
ever  picture  him  as  an  outstanding  figure,  urging  the 
public  to  awaken  to  its  responsibilities  and  opportun- 
ities. He  is,  like  many  other  hand-picked  machine- 
made  candidates,  absolutely  safe.  If  he  was  not 
amiable,  pliable  and  amenable  to  party  discipline  he 
could  never  have  received  the  endorsement  and  whole 
hearted  support  of  the  grand  High  Mogul  of  the 
G.  O.  P.  councils,  Hon.  Charles  H.  Innes.  When 
the  boys  have  a  good  time,  the  Governor  is  a  happy 
member  of  the  party ;  when  a  funeral  is  to  be  attend- 
ed, possibly  the  burial  of  "John  Barleycorn*"  he  is 

as 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

as  sober  faced  as  the  most  sober.  When  it  is 
necessary  to  cover  party  discrepancies  with  a  smoke 
screen,  he  is  a  very  forceful  champion  of  law  and 
order.  When  the  boys  want  a  side  show  and  drunk- 
en debauchery  in  conjimction  with  a  Republican  love- 
feast  he  lacks  the  moral  courage  to  say  NO. 

I  honestly  believe  that  the  Governor  was  victim- 
ized by  those  in  charge  of  the  liquor  dispensary  at 
the  Quincy  House,  December  20,  because  advantage 
was  taken  of  his  well-known  good  nature,  and  easy 
going  methods,  but  I  can  not  sympathize  with  him  in 
his  inability  to  raise  a  restrictive  hand  when  certain 
wet  politicians  would  jeopardize  not  only  his  own 
political  future,  but  that  of  the  party  which  has  en- 
trusted him  its  leadership.  I  believe  we  are  face  to 
face  with  times  when  strong  men,  men  of  genuine, 
action-producing  convictions  are  needed.  Men  who 
can  say  NO  with  as  much  compelling  decisiveness  as 
they  can  give  the  order  to  "go  forward*'  when  in  the 
right. 

Other  statements  issued  the  day  following  the 
Quincy  House  raid  are  well  worth  consideration. 

PROHIBITION  ENFORCEMENT  DIRECTOR 
POTTER— **If  Mr.  Wilson  believed  the  law  was  be- 
ing violated,  it  was  his  duty  to  take  such  steps  as  he 
saw  fit. 

SECRETARY  OF  STATE  FREDERIC  W. 
COOK — "I  had  absolutely  no  knowledge  that  liquor 
was  being  served,  and  certainly  saw  none  at  the  din- 
ner. The  first  I  learned  that  liquor  had  been  served 
was  when  I  saw  Mr.  Wilson  as  I  was  leaving  the 
5iotel.  I  disapprove  of  its  having  been  there.  It 
was  a  violation  of  the  law.  I  believe  it  is  the  duty 
of  public  officials  to  enforce  the  law,  and  they  should 
set  an  example  by  refraining  from  all  violations  of 
it." 

LIEUT.  GOV.  ALVAN  T.  FULLER— "I  have 
nothing  to  say  at  present." 

STATE  TREASURER  JAMES  JACKSON— "I 

S4 


IGNORANCE  SUBLIME 

saw  no  liquor,  I  got  no  liquor — ^but  I  got  there  late." 

The  "if"  in  Mr.  Potter's  statement  is  rather  die- 
concerting.  Is  it  possible  that  the  prohibition  di- 
rector in  Massachusetts  had  some  doubt  as  to 
whether  the  law  was  being  violated?  It  would  seem 
from  this  statement,  that  he  was  still  in  doubt  on  the 
day  immediately  following  the  raid,  Wednesday,  but 
by  Saturday  of  the  same  week,  he  had  been  thorough- 
ly convinced  that  the  law  was  violated.  Perhaps 
some  '*wet  pol"  advised  a  revised  statement 
Leastwise,  his  statement  that  he  would  have  raided 
the  place  himself,  if  he  had  known  what  was  going 
on,  would  lead  even  the  most  unsophisticated  to  be- 
lieve he  had  seen  the  light. 

No  man  could  possibly  take  exception  to  the 
masterly  statement  of  the  Hon.  Frederic  W.  Cook. 
Mr.  Cook  is  every  inch  a  statesman  and  is  an  honor 
to  the  party  which  has  made  him  Secretary  of  the 
Commonwealth.  I  met  Mr.  Cook  on  two  different 
occasions  outside  the  Quincy  House  on  the  evening 
of  the  raid  during  my  search  for  the  U.  S.  Commis- 
sioner, and  know  that  his  knowledge  of  the  banquet 
must  have  been  very  limited. 

The  statement  of  the  State  Treasurer,  Mr.  Jackson, 
is  rather  illuminating  even  if  he  was  a  bit  hard  on 
some  who  would  plead  complete  ignorance  of  the 
whole  affair. 

Why  did  the  Lieut.  Gov.,  Alvan  T.  Fuller,  refrain 
from  making  a  statement?  I  have  it  from  the  ve.y 
best  of  authority,  that  he  did  give  a  statement  to  at 
least  one  newspaper  reporter  which  he  retracted  be- 
fore publication.  It  has  been  suggested  that  since 
the  Lieutenant  Governor  has  such  an  excellent  record 
for  outspoken  veracity,  regardless  of  whom  he  hits 
and  such  a  poor  reputation  for  amenability  to  the 
political  recipe  of  covering  up  any  party  mistakes, 
his  statement  would  have  admitted  too  much 
knowledge  of  what  was  actually  going  on  in  the  up- 
stairs chamber,  and  thus  have  been  misinterpreted 

S5 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

by  his  political  enemies,  as  an  attempt  to  make  poli- 
tical capital  out  of  the  misfortune  of  other  G.  O.  P. 
leaders.  An  amusing  incident  relative  to  the  Quincy 
House  raid  is  the  fact  that  the  Lieutenant  Governor 
severely  criticized  me,  that  very  afternoon  for  not 
having  raided  a  certain  big  public  banquet  he  had  at- 
tended at  which  booze  was  served  very  indiscrimin- 
ately. He  said  that  prohibition  was  a  farce,  as  long 
as  the  big  fellows  could  drink  with  impunity.  I  in- 
formed him  that  the  banquet  he  mentioned  was 
staged  by  a  Foreign  Delegation  in  America  for  the 
Peace  Conference,  and  that  if  I  had  attempted  to  raid 
such  a  place  the  political  framers  and  technically 
trained  lawyers  would  have  proven  that  whatever 
liquor  was  served  belonged  to  the  foreign  delegation. 

I  believe  the  Lieutenant  Governor  was  correct.  Mr. 
Fuller,  like  many  other  respectable  law-loving  public 
officials  has  been  a  victim  of  the  false  standard  of 
political  hypocrisy,  established  and  maintained  by 
such  men  as  Charley  Innes,  who  claim  to  be  the 
staunchest  supporters  of  the  Republican  party,  and 
yet  for  a  little  personal  stomach  satisfaction  jeopar- 
dize the  welfare  of  the  entire  G.  O.  P.  organization, 
to  attend  parties  where  liquor  was  served  openly  ir 
even  surreptiously  that  sooner  or  later  I  would  raid 
such  a  party  when  he  was  present.  As  luck  would 
have  it  I  raided  the  Quincy  House,  at  which  he  was 
present,  that  very  night.  The  Lieutenant  Governor 
did  not  give  me  any  inkling  on  the  afternoon  of  the 
twentieth,  that  there  was  to  be  a  party  at  the  Quincy 
House,  and  I  imagine  he  was  as  much  surprised  as 
any  other  public  official  when  I  descended  upon  the 
place.  I  shall  not  enter  into  any  discussion  whether 
all  the  guests  in  the  Quincy  House  knew  of  the  pri- 
vate booze  room  on  the  second  floor,  or  not  for  it  is 
of  little  consequence,  as  I  believe  the  majority  of  the 
Republican  notables  present  were  victims  of  a  vicious 
system,  and  like  Lieutenant  Governor  Fuller  depre- 

36 


IGNORAKCE  SUBLIME 

cated  the  condition  but  were  at  a  loss  how  to  rectify 
the  hypocrisy  without  being  grievously  misundcr- 
stood  by  the  public.  I  did  something  that  had  to  be 
done,  and  if  my  motives  have  been  misunderstood 
and  maliciously  maligned  it  is  of  no  moment 
provided  I  have  succeeded  in  knocking  a  cer- 
tain amount  of  hypocrisy  out  of  high  places. 
I  do  not  condemn  the  rank  and  file  of  the 
Republican  leaders  who  were  present  at  the  Quincy 
House  banquet,  but  I  do  condemn  Governor  Channing 
H.  Cox  for  his  weak-kneed  statement,  his  great  per- 
sonal intimacy  with  those  who  staged  the  constitu- 
tion defying  liquor  dispensary  on  the  second  floor 
and  his  persistent  refusal  to  in  any  way  repudiate 
certain  wet  parasites  who  are  a  dead  load  to  the  Re- 
publican party.  Governor  Cox  was  the  key  to  the 
whole  situation.  He  was  the  one  man  who  could 
have  stood  up  with  an  emphatic  NO,  and  have  re- 
ceived the  unanimous  endorsement  of  all  the  law  lov- 
ing citizens  in  Massachusetts.  If  Lieutenant  Gov- 
ernor Fulled,  Frank  Allen,  President  of  the  Senate 
or  a  number  of  other  estimable  gentlemen  who  were 
present  had  attempted  to  sound  the  death  knell  of 
drunken  debaucheries  in  side-rooms  at  public  func- 
tions, their  clarion  call  to  duty  would  have  been  mis- 
interpreted, and  the  finger  of  scorn  would  have  been 
turned  upon  them  as  politicial  ingrates;  aspirants  to 
the  governorship  over  the  prostrate,  mud-spattered 
form  of  Channing  H.  Cox.  In  this  event,  the  Gov- 
ernor would  have  been  pictured  as  the  innocent  vic- 
tim of  malicious  machinations  n  the  part  of  an  am- 
bitious unscrupulous  politician. 

It  fell  to  my  lot  to  be  the  temporary  champion  of 
genuine  law  enforcement  from  the  Top  Down  rather 
than  from  the  Bottom  Part  Way  Up  and  as  a  conse- 
quence, I  have  been  suspected  of  every  conceivable 
motive,  except  the  correct  one  of  impartial  law  en- 
forcement by  a  clique  of  booze-loving,  law-defying, 
near  statesmen. 

87 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

HAVE  OUR  COURTS  BROKEN  DOWN? 
Chapter  IV. 

"Have  our  courts  broken  down?"  is  a  serious  ques- 
tion and  one  that  should  not  be  dealt  with  lightly. 
For  a  long  time  it  has  been  considered  almost  hi^h 
treason  to  even  infer  a  judge  was  wrong  or  possibly 
subservient  to  some  corporate  interests,  but  when 
confronted  with  the  plain,  cold  truth  someone  must 
call  a  spade  a  spade. 

We  have  many  fine  judges  in  Massachusetts,  men 
of  the  very  highest  personal  integrity,  and  of  up- 
right moral  character.  On  the  other  hand  we  have 
a  few  judges  who  are  decidedly  immoral  and  equally 
biased  in  their  decisions. 

While  I  do  not  advocate  the  election  of  judges 
some  feasible  way  must  be  found  to  rid  the  bench  of 
undesirable  characters.  Our  system  of  appointing 
judges  for  life,  and  thus  making  them  absolutely  in- 
dependent of  public  hysteria  and  political  coercion  is 
beautiful  in  theory  but  not  always  practical  in  opera- 
tion. If  the  judges  were  selected  for  their  ability 
and  unswerving  fidelity  to  the  public  trust,  there 
would  be  no  question  as  to  the  merit  of  our  present 
system,  but  when  they  are  often  selected  by  cheap, 
hand-picked,  machine-made  politicians  who  kow-tow 
to  every  special  interest,  and  feed  the  public  on  un- 
adulterated bunkum,  polished  off  with  highfalutin  , 
seemingly  endless  phraseology,  there  is  serious  ques- 
tion if  occasionally  selections  as  judges  are  not  of  the 
same  inferior  interest-serving,  public-be-damned 
variety. 

I  am  sorry  to  state  that  we  have  a  few  judges  on 
the  bench  who  drink  to  excess  in  absolute  violation 
of  the  Constitutional  law  of  the  land,  some  who  gam- 
ble more  persistently  and  perniciously  than  the  gam- 
blers who  daily  come  before  them  for  a  sentence 
teeming  with  hypocrisy,  and   some  whose  immoral 

88 


HAVE  OUR  COURTS  BROKEN  DOWN? 

relations  do  not  tend  to  breed  respect  for  law  and 
decency. 

It  is  a  weird  mockery,  a  travesty  on  justice  to  ex- 
pect an  impartial,  intelligent,  legally-sound  decision 
from  such  wanton  violators  of  both  the  laws  of  God 
and  of  man,  A  way  must  be  found  to  remove  such 
men  and  to  select  their  successors  from  the  best  and 
most  honorable  legal  men  of  the  nation. 

The  remedy  is  simple,  elect  men  to  the  governor- 
ship who  will  be  governed  only  by  the  dictation  f 
their  own  conscience  and  select  men  for  judges  of  the 
very  highest  legal  ability  and  spotless  character. 

The  opponents  of  prohibition  law  enforcement  are 
always  harping  on  the  hypocrisy  attending  the  adop- 
tion of  the  Eighteenth  Amendment  and  its  enforce- 
ment. The  hypocrisy  is  all  to  be  found  with  those 
who  are  trying  to  nullify  the  law.  As  Prohibition 
Chief,  I  did  not  find  it  necessary  to  raid  the  homes 
of  church  people,  whatever  their  creed,  and  when  I 
found  an  out-and-out-Christian  gentleman  on  the 
bench  as  j^dge,  I  found  no  lack  of  interest  or  co- 
operation on  his  part  relative  to  the  conviction  and 
punishment  of  law  violators. 

Where  I  found  hypocrisy  was  in  the  high  officials 
or  judges  who  surreptitiously  imbibe  their  booze  in 
private  and  in  public  make  a  grand-stand  play  of 
enforcing  the  law  with  minor  offenders  while  secret- 
ly striving  to  nullify  all  statutory  provisions  apply- 
ing to  the  more  influential  violators. 

The  attorney  who  advises  a  client  on  the  best  way 
in  which  to  circumvent  a  law,  defends  him  when  he 
is  apprehended,  and  collects  both  ways,  is  the  neari-'c 
thing  to  a  hypocrite  and  a  parasite  on  the  face  of  the 
earth.  Some  of  our  lawyers  live  on  such  business 
and  are  a  disgrace  to  their  profession.  I  am  glad 
that  we  have  many,  however,  who  will  not  stoop  to 
such  practice. 

It  is  a  joke  to  arrest  a  bootlegger  for  peddling  his 
poisonous,  man-killing  liquors  and  have  a  judge  free 

29 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

him  on  some  far-fetched  technicality,  or  impose  a 
minimum  fine. 

What  does  a  man  care  for  a  paltry  fine  when  he  s 
so  degraded  that  he  will  sell  moonshine  loaded  with 
wood  alcohol,  fusel  oil,  and  other  deadly  ingredients? 
He  marks  the  fine  off  to  profit  and  loss  and  resimi?s 
operations  the  next  day. 

Then  the  "wets"  scream  **the  law  cannot  be  en- 
forced. It  breeds  anarchy."  Of  course,  it  cannot  be 
enforced  effectively  on  a  system  of  picayune  fines. 
Neither  could  the  law  on  stealing  automobiles  or  safe- 
breaking  be  enforced  if  the  thieves  were  never  fined 
more  than  five  to  ten  per  cent  of  the  value  of  their 
plunder. 

There  are  districts  in  Massachusetts  where  is  is  al- 
most impossible  to  secure  a  search  warrant  because 
of  the  open  hostility  of  the  presiding  judge,  and  if 
perchance  a  warrant  is  obtained  it  is  next  to  impos- 
sible to  secure  a  conviction.  If  both  the  warrant  and 
the  conviction  are  obtained  through  good  luck  and 
hard  fighting  the  fine  is  so  inconsequential  that  the 
whole  proceeding  is  farcical. 

Under  the  Federal  law,  the  mere  possession  of 
liquor  is  prima  facie  evidence  for  a  conviction.  The 
burden  of  proof  rests  with  the  possessor  and  not 
with  the  Government.  Under  our  present  State 
laws,  or  rather  lack  of  laws,  it  is  not  illegal  to  pos- 
sess an  unlimited  amount  of  liquor  or  to  transport 
same  at  will  throughout  the  Commonwealth  or  even 
to  set  up  a  liquor  distillery  in  your  home  or  place  of 
business.  The  need  of  a  State  law  conforming  to 
the  liquor  laws  is  imperative. 

The  only  way  in  which  a  conviction  can  be  ob- 
tained in  a  State  court  is  to  prove  that  the  possessor 
of  the  liquor  is  keeping  and  exposing  for  saU. 
Sometimes  it  is  very  difficult  to  prove  an  actual  sale, 
although  the  available  circumstancial  evidence  may 
be  sufficient  to  convict  a  man  of  murder.  For  ex- 
ample, a  citizen,  or  I  should  say  an  alien,  fur  it  is 

40 


HAVE  OUR  COURTS  BROKEN  DOWN? 

very  seldom  that  citizens  engage  in  the  indefensible 
liquor  traffic,  starts  in  the  wholesale  manufacture  of 
liquor.  He  sets  up  a  distillery  which  is  capable  of 
an  output  of  twenty  or  more  gallons  of  moonshine 
a  day.  No  man,  however  large  his  circle  of  acquaint- 
ances, could  drink  any  such  quantity  of  whiskey. 
Consequently,  the  natural  inference  is  that  he  is  mak- 
ing it  for  commercial  purposes.  Most  of  the  judges 
in  Massachusetts  will  convict  such  a  man  on  circum- 
stantial evidence  on  the  ground  that  he  is  not  making 
his  liquor  to  dump  down  the  sink,  and  obviously 
must  be  keeping  and  exposing  his  product  for  sah^ 

I  have  been  to  judges  in  Boston  and  nearby  cities 
who  have  refused  to  issue  a  search  warrant  when  the 
place  to  be  searched  was  reeking  with  the  odor  and 
filth  of  a  distillery ;  places  where  the  other  tenants  of 
a  house  complained  that  booze  was  being  made  on 
such  a  large  scale  that  their  health  was  being  under- 
mined by  the  foul  and  noxious  fumes.  I  have  had 
complaint  from  distracted  wives  and  mothers  about 
places  selling  such  vile,  brutalizing  concoctions  that 
the  women  feared  for  the  safety  of  their  children  and 
their  homes.  When  these  poor  discouraged  heart- 
broken, mothers  or  wives  dared  not  come  before 
these  judges,  or  in  some  cases  when  they  did  appear, 
no  cognizance  was  taken  of  their  pitiful  cases. 

I  have  known  of  dives  apparently  so  thoroughly 
protected  by  a  certain  class  of  judges  that  a  search 
warrant  could  not  be  obtained  on  actual  evidence  of  a 
sale.  It  is  generally  possible  to  find  a  legal  techni- 
cality in  any  law  if  the  presiding  justice  is  so  dis- 
posed. In  other  cases,  the  search  warrant  was  issued 
so  grudgingly  and  with  so  much  hesitation  that  the 
**hell-ketchen",  or  "man  wrecking"  dispensary  was 
tipped  off  long  before  it  could  be  raided. 

It  is  because  of  this  attitude  on  the  part  of  some 
judges  and  the  fact  that  a  few  are  sitting  on  the 
bench  who  are  clearly  mentally  and  physically  in- 
competent, that    I  advocate  some    change  in    our 

41 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

method  of  selecting  judges.  My  idea  of  the  immu- 
tabiHty  of  our  courts  has  been  radically  changed  by 
some  of  my  farcical  and  disgusting  experiences  as  a 
Prohibition  Chief. 

The  greatest  single  stumbling-block  to  prohibition 
in  Massachusetts  is  United  States  Commissioner 
William  H.  Hayes,  the  Mr.  Pickwick  of  the  Boston 
Federal  Building.  He  has  freely  admitted  on  num- 
erous occasions  that  he  has  absolutely  no  use  for  the 
Volstead  Act,  or  any  of  its  provisions,  and  his  actions 
in  court  are  consistently  in  accord  with  his  expressed 
opinions.  Search  warrants  are  obtained  with  the  ut- 
most difficulty  and  when  cases  are  brought  before 
him,  it  is  generally  the  Federal  prohibition  agents 
who  are  tried  rather  than  the  defendants.  Few  ques- 
tions are  asked  of  the  defendants,  while  agents  are 
put  through  a  most  strenuous  and  sarcastic  third  de- 
gree. He  has  been  so  abusive  to  Boston  policemen 
appearing  before  him  as  witnesses,  that  it  is  practi- 
cally impossible  to  get  a  Boston  patrolman  to  appear 
in  his  court.  Many  violators  of  the  liquor  laws  ap- 
parently do  not  deem  an  attorney  necessary  in  the 
court  of  Commissioner  Hayes.  This  is  not  the  case, 
however,  before  such  United  States  Commissioners 
as  Goodspeed  of  New  Bedford,  Fletcher  of  Worces- 
ter, Rice  of  Springfield,  and  Wood  of  Pittsfield,  and 
as  a  matter  of  fact,  it  is  not  a  common  practice  in 
any  court.  When  a  man  is  arrested  for  a  law  vio- 
lation, his  first  act  of  self  preservation  is  to  rush  to 
an  attorney  for  legal  advice.  Attorneys  trying  liquor 
rasc5.  in  the  Federal  Building  at  Boston  before  any 
other  U.  S.  Commissioner  invariably  continue  them 
until  Mr.  Hayes  is  sitting.  In  the  famous  Quinc}'- 
House  raid  trial,  the  first  legal  skirmish  on  the  part 
of  the  defendants  was  to  take  the  case  away  from 
United  States  Commissioner  Nelson  so  that  it  might 
be  tried  before  Commissioner  Hayes.  This  move 
was  unsuccessful  and  as  a  consequence  one  of  the 
defendants  was.  held  for  the  grand  jury. 

42 


HAVE  OUR  COURTS  BROKEN  DOWN? 

Cases  were  thrown  out  of  court  by  the  Commis- 
sioner on  the  merest  techr  xalities,  and  whenever  it 
was  a  case  of  veracity,  between  an  agent  and  a  boot- 
legger, the  latter's  statement  appeared  to  carry  great- 
er weight.  I  have  a  number  of  affidavits  in  my  pos- 
session showing  some  very  unusual  decisions  or  an- 
tics on  the  part  of  the  Commissioner.  In  one  case, 
after  filling  out  a  search  warrant  he  deliberately  read 
the  address  and  the  name  of  the  premises  to  be 
searched  in  a  sufficiently  loud  voice  for  a  number  of 
bootleggers  to  overhear. 

It  is  needless  to  say  that  this  raid  was  unsuccess- 
ful. Another  affidavit  relates  how  the  Commission- 
er allowed  a  well-known  liquor  attorney  to  examine 
a  search  warrant  for  a  Lowell  hotel,  prior  to  giving 
same  to  the  agent.  When  the  raid  was  staged  a  few 
hours  later,  the  proprietor  met  us  with  a  smile,  with 
the  remark  "You  are  too  late,  boys." 

Another  affidavit  describes  a  hearing  before  the 
Commissioner  in  which  eveiy  effort  was  apparently 
made  to  mkke  a  public  spectacle  out  of  the  agents 
handling  the  case.  At  the  close  of  the  hearing, 
when  the  Commissioner,  as  usual,  was  about  to  dis- 
charge the  defendant,  a  special  United  States  Assist- 
ant Attorney  told  him  that  he  must  either  decide  that 
two  of  my  agents  were  absolute  liars  or  find  the  de- 
fendant guilty.  The  defendant  was  discharged,  the 
obvious  inference  being  thai  the  agents  were  liars  i.i 
the  Commissioner's  opinion. 

I  have  a  number  of  affidavits  in  which  Mr.  Hayes 
has  publicly  reprimanded  agents  for  what  he  termed 
*Merelections  of  duty,**  said  breeches  of  "Hell  Kitch- 
en** ethics  being  founded  on  the  false  assertions  of 
bar  room  derelicts.  The  same  affidavits  recite  in- 
stances in  which  he  has  advised  in  open  court  before 
bar  proprietors  and  their  ever  present  degenerate, 
bleary-eyed,  rum-soaked,  gin-guzzling  hangers-on, 
the  use  of  force  on  the  sligthest  miscue  in  proprieties 
of  law.     It  was  of  no  consequence  whether  said  er- 

48 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

rors  in  judgment  were  technical  or  unintentional. 
One  agent  was  roundly  abused  and  the  men  attack- 
ing him  were  freed  because  said  agent,  when  set  up- 
on in  a  bar  room,  failed  to  state  that  he  was  a  Fed- 
eral officer.  The  agent  had  testified  in  court  that 
he  announced  his  identity,  but  in  as  much  as  the 
"bums"  attacking  bim  had  testified  to  the  contrary, 
the  agent*s  testimony  was  not  competent. 

A  typical  illustration  of  the  well-nigh  im- 
possibility of  obtaining  a  search  warrant  in  some 
instances  is  the  Pine  Grove  Inn  case  of  the  summer 
of  1921,  and  the  statement  which  I  am  about  to  make 
regarding  this  affair  is  backed  up  by  an  affidavit 
signed  by  two  of  my  agents  and  myself. 

On  October  7,  1921,  I  drove  a  party  consisting  of 
two  of  my  agents  and  two  reputable  ladies  to  the 
Pine  Grove  Inn  in  Marlboro  at  about  ten  o'clock  in 
the  evening.  Fearing  that  I  might  be  recognized 
because  of  the  rather  unusual  publicity  that  I  had  re- 
ceived, I  remained  in  the  automobile  while  my  agents 
and  the  ladies  entered  the  Inn.  They  took  a  window 
table  where  I  could  clearly  watch  the  proceedings. 
After  obtaining  the  confidence  of  their  waiter,  they 
succeeded  in  securing  drinks  of  liquor  at  the  table 
and  also  a  half  pint  for  their  supposed  consumption 
on  the  way  home.  With  this  absolute  evidence  that 
the  Pine  Grove  Inn  was  illegally  trafficking  in  liquor 
at  that  time,  I  went  to  United  States  Commission  \- 
Hayes  and  requested  a  search  warrant  for  the  fol- 
lowing evening  (Saturday).  The  Commissioner 
positively  refused  to  issue  such  a  warrant  after  he 
found  out  that  neither  my  agents  nor  myself  knew 
the  name  of  the  waiter  making  the  sale  or  whether 
or  not  the  proprietor  actually  saw  said  sale,  require- 
ments impossible  of  fulfillment  without  arousing  the 
suspicionof  the  proprietor.  I  was  so  determined  to 
get  the  Pine  Grove  Inn  after  the  refusal  of  the  Com- 
missioner to  give  me  a  warrant,  that  I  went  directly 
to  the  warrant  clerk  in  the  City  of  Marlboro  and  ob- 

44 


HAVE  OUR  COURTS  BROKEN  DOWN? 

tained  a  state  "ticket".  Armed  with  this  warrant, 
and  assisted  by  the  police  of  Marlboro,  the  Inn  was 
raided  and  sufficient  evidence  obtained  for  a  convic- 
tion in  the  State  Court,  a  much  more  difficult  pro- 
ceeding than  under  the  Federal  law.  I  might  men- 
tion numerous  other  instances,  but  it  is  hardly  neces- 
sary. 

What  I  am  trying  to  prove  is  the  hypocrisy  of  the 
"wet"  interests  when  they  assert  that  the  prohibitory 
law  cannot  be  enforced  while  doing  every  thing  in 
their  power  to  prevent  even  a  reasonable  trial.  It 
can  and  will  be  enforced  when  the  public  is  brought 
to  a  realization  of  the  many  inexcusable  obstacles 
placed  in  the  way  of  those  actually  striving  to  en- 
force the  law. 

Conditions  in  other  U.  S.  Commissioners'  Districts 
in  Massachusetts  are  in  direct  contrast  to  the  Boston 
situation.  It  was  a  pleasure  to  work  with  such  com- 
missioners as  Alexander  Goodspeed  of  New  Bedford, 
and  John  L.  Rice  of  Springfield.  Both  of  these  men 
are  exceptionally  well  posted  in  the  legal  technique 
of  their  offices  and  carry  out  their  duties  as  if  they 
felt  some  personal  responsibility  in  the  conviction 
and  punishment  of  liquor  violators.  The  honor  of 
our  courts  is  safe  in  the  hands  of  such  men,  and  if 
the  country  \  h  favored  with  judges  and  commis- 
sioners of  this  type,  there  would  be  no  occasion  for 
anyone  to  advocate  the  recall  or  election  of  judges. 
The  same  is  true  of  Commissioners  Fletcher  of  Wor- 
cester and  Wood  of  Pittsfield. 

Certain  events  on  the  night  of  the  Quincy  House 
raid  were  not  included  in  the  two  preceeding  chap- 
ters as  th  :y  y  tre  reserved  for  consideration  in  co*i- 
nection  with  the  long  and — up  to  the  time  of  the 
printing  of  this  book — unfinished  court  battle  to 
have  the  raid  case  thrown  out  of  Court.  At  th': 
time  I  raided  the  winery  of  the  Republican  revellers, 
one  Harold  G.  Kern  submitted  to  me  a  permit 
purporting    to    give    him    the    right    to    transport 

45 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

five  cases  of  gin  and  two  cases  of  whiskey  from  his 
residence  in  West  Roxbury  to  his  winter  residence, 
room  46,  Quincy  House.  This  permit  bore  the  hu  }- 
ber  stamp  of  Elmer  C.  Potter,  State  Prohibition  Di- 
rector, and  appeared  to  be  proper  in  every  respect 
except  that  it  had  been  issued  for  an  apparently  very 
improper  purpose. 

The  mockery  and  inconsistency  of  a  system  that 
makes  possible  the  flashing  of  a  legal  permit  in  the 
face  of  an  officer  trying  to  perform  his  sworn  duty 
is  too  disgusting  for  comment.  An  inexperienced 
agent  might  well  have  retreated,  convinced  that  h**. 
was   making  an  illegal   raid. 

I  do  not  excuse  the  State  Director  for  issuing  this 
permit  and  going  to  the  same  banquet.  He  passed 
it  off  with  the  remark  that  it  was  simply  routine 
business.  That  is  the  trouble  with  his  office;  there 
is  too  much  routine  business  and  too  little  personal 
supervision. 

The  State  Director  may  be  absolutely  blameless, 
like  unto  his  Excellence  the  Governor,  since  both 
are  reputed  to  be  so  easy  going  that  such  trivialities 
as  Constitutional  law-breaking  do  not  ruffie  the 
serenity  of  their  happy  lives. 

Blissful  ignorance  may  be  sublime  in  those  charged 
with  no  public  trust,  but  it  does  not  appeal  to  the 
great  mass  of  the  people,  who  demand  action  and 
plenty  of  it  in  their  paid  officials. 

The  Quincy  House  permit  was  the  arch-camou- 
flage of  a  group  of  scheming  politicians  who  deal 
solely  in  camouflage.  To  hear  some  of  the  politi- 
cians talk  one  would  almost  be  led  to  believe  that 
they  considered  this  particular  permit  to  have  been 
legally  issued  and  properly  used,  but  to  the  unsophis- 
ticated, unschooled  in  the  ways  of  the  "wet"  politi- 
cian, it  is  difficult  to  understand  how  liquor  could 
be  dispensed  upon  such  a  wholesale  basis  without 
violating  both  the  spirit  and  the  letter  of  the  Vol- 
stead Act.     The  wholesale  scale  of  distribution,  the 

46 


HAVE  OUR  COURTS  BROKEN  DOWN? 

utter  disregard  of  the  usual  methods  of  precaution, 
and  the  indignant  amazement  of  those  responsible 
for  establishing  a  liquor-dispensary  in  connection 
with  the  G.  O.  P.  *'love  feast"  isexcellent  evidence 
that  full  protection  was  expected. 

To  the  average  lay  mind,  the  fight  to  set  aside  the 
search  warrant  used  in  this  raid  is  the  worst  kind 
of  hypocrisy.  After  finding  such  an  abundance  of 
liquor  and  every  evidence  that  the  Constitutional  law 
of  the  land  had  been  utterly  disregarded,  it  is  hard 
to  understand  the  process  of  reasoning  that  would 
hold  those  responsible  guiltless,  if  some  legal  techni- 
cality could  be  raised  setting  aside  the  search  war- 
rant. The  warrant  used  in  this  particular  raid  was 
issued  in  good  faith  and  served  absolutely  in  accord- 
ance with  law.  If  by  any  chance  the  warrant  is 
eventually  set  aside  through  the  employment  of 
high-class  attorneys  and  the  use  of  far-fetched  legal 
technicalities,  it  will  be  a  greater  blow  to  law  and 
order  than  if  a  thousand  of  the  minor  culprits  unable 
financially  to  employ  such  an  array  of  legal  talent 
should  escape  punishment  after  staging  a  similar 
fracas. 

No  one  has  attempted  to  gainsay  that  an  unusual 
amount  of  liquor  was  seized  in  this  famous  raid.  No 
one  can  gainsay  that  many  of  the  "red  tagged" 
guests  were  decidedly  under  the  influence  of  liquor, 
or  that  the  law  was  freely  violated  by  those  who  par- 
ticipated. The  only  question  raised  to  date  is  wheth- 
er or  not  the  search  warrant  was  technically  legal. 

If  the  G.  O.  P.  legal  talent  is  able  to  prove  through 
subterranean  channels  that  the  warrant  was  not  made 
absolutely  according  to  Hoyle,  that  some  features  of 
punctuation  were  not  in  the  best  form,  or  that  all 
the  ethereal  exigencies  were  not  fulfilled,  my  raid 
on  the  Quincy  House  will  be  called  illegal  and  any 
evidence  seized  kept  out  of  the  court  records. 

In  view  of  the  fact  that  every  reader  of  a  news- 
paper in  Massachusetts  knows  exactly  what  trans- 

47 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

pired  in  the  Quincy  House  that  night,  it  seems  abso- 
lutely absurd  and  the  height  of  hypocrisy  to  resort 
to  the  subterfuge  of  a  legal  smoke-screen  in  the  hope 
that  some  of  the  people  may  be  sufficiently  gullible 
to  hold  those  participating  guiltless. 

A  contemptible  feature  of  this  disgraceful  de- 
bauchery is  the  fact  that  those  responsible  did  not 
even  take  a  sporting  chance.  They  not  only  violated 
the  Constitutional  law  of  the  land  with  impunity,  but 
felt  comparatively  safe  in  doing  so.  In  other  words, 
they  stacked  the  cards  with  a  legal,  if  absolutely  in- 
defensible, permit  for  the  transportation  of  their 
liquor,  invited  the  supposedly  responsible  head  of 
the  prohibition  department,  and  than  drank  and  ca- 
roused with  the  utmost  abandon. 

Most  men  admire  a  "game  sport*',  that  is,  an  in- 
dividual who  takes  a  real  sporting  chance,  but  no 
one  has  any  use  for  the  "dead  beat*'  who  plays  a 
sure  thing. 

Thanks  to  the  unswerving  fidelity  of  United  States 
Commissioner  William  S.  Nelson,  Harold  G.  Kern, 
the  pe-^^t  holder  and  acknowledged  owner  of  the 
Q^'ncy  .  Guse  liquor,  has  been  held  for  the  Grand 
Jury. 

"The  Vvhite  Horse"  whiskey  served  at  the  Quincy 
House  raici  vvas  of  1921  vintage,  not  1918  as  sworn 
to  in  the  Ke:*n  affidavit  requesting  a  transportation 
permit.  This  ought  to  lead  to  a  government  charge 
of  perjury.  It  is  also  safe  to  assume  that  the  gin 
was  acquired  after  the  passage  of  the  prohibition 
amendment  rather  than  before,  although  I  have  no 
definite  proof  to  back  up  this  assertion  other  than 
the  fact  that  Kern  is  a  very  young  man,  so  young  in 
fact  that  he  was  under  age  when  he  claimed  to  have 
had  legal  possession  of  the  Quincy  House  liquor  in 
1918. 


48 


FACTS  ON  PROHIBITION 

FACTS  AND  FIGURES  ON  PROHIBITION 
ENFORCEMENT 

Chapter  V. 

In  spite  of  the  many  court  handicaps  described  in 
the  preceding  chapter,  the  persistent  propaganda  of 
the  liquor  interests  and  the  pernicious  influence  of 
"wet"  politicians  who  talk  for  public  consumption, 
and  drink  for  stomach  consumption,  prohibition  has 
accomplished  a  tremendous  amount  of  good.  The 
favorable  attitude  of  many  large  employers  of  labor 
is  one  of  the  best  testimonials  as  to  the  stabilizing 
and  man  power  conserving  qualities  of  prohibition. 

Wayne  B.  Wheeler  has  said  that  the  18th  Amend- 
ment is  the  greatest  single  piece  of  constructive  leg- 
islation ever  written  by  the  hand  of  man.  Every 
signpost  raised  by  the  prohibition  laws  on  the  high- 
way of  human  progress  points  clearly  ahead  to  bet- 
ter things  if  the  passer  will  but  see  it.  The  only 
trouble  with  the  prohibition  laws  is  that  a  portion 
of  the  people  refuse  to  see  the  good  and  try  to  dress 
a  sacred  ideal  in  the  garb  and  vestments  of  Satan. 

Let's  face  the  truth.  There  is  a  persistent,  malig- 
nant propaganda  against  prohibition — a  cancerous 
germ  in  the  body  politic,  nourished  on  the  tainted 
money  of  the  brewer  and  distiller  and  by  the  preju- 
dices of  thousands  who  are  unwilling  to  give  up 
something  for  the  common  good.  With  many  it  is 
just  plain  stomach  selfishness. 

The  wet  propagandist  is  sly  and  astute.  He  ig- 
nores the  good  and  parades  before  our  eyes  only  the 
bad  things  which  in  many  instances  are  temporary 
and  incidental.  If  it  be  shown  that  drunkenness  ar- 
rests have  increased  from  1920  to  1921,  he  magnifies 
this,  disregarding  the  fact  that  arrests  for  drunken- 
ness are  still  far  below  the  records  of  pre-prohibition 
days.  If  it  be  the  fortune  of  the  prohibition  officials 
to  turn  up  an  immense  illicit  distillery  or  to  uncover 
a  widespread  smuggling  plot,  the  wet  theorist  imme- 

49 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

diately  accepts  these  things  as  evidence  that  more 
liquor  is  being  consumed  than  ever  before  in  the 
history  of  the  United  States. 

The  problems  of  enforcement  will  be  considered 
in  a  later  chapter,  but  I  would  like  to  pause  here, 
for  a  moment,  to  brand  this  argument  as  a  vicious  un- 
truth. It  is  ridiculous  to  suppose  that  any  illicit 
traffic,  under  the  very  noses  of  an  enforcement  staff 
trained  and  sworn  to  prosecute  it,  can  support  an 
organization  comparing  even  remotely  with  the  great 
rum  octopus  which  wound  its  tentacles  about  the 
limbs  of  the  body  politic  and  crushed  out  the  life  of 
thousands  in  pre-prohibition  days.  The  old  sluice- 
ways of  the  brewer  and  distiller,  which  poured  their 
output  of  alcohol  into  every  alley  and  corner  saloon 
as  regularly  as  the  clock  ticked  away  seconds  in  the 
life  of  the  Nation,  are  closed  for  all  time.  In  their 
places  have  sprung  up  scattered  streams,  fed  by  the 
rum  runner  and  the  backwoods  distiller.  This 
lawless  traffic  can  never  equal  a  small  part  of  the 
organized  system  which  prevailed  under  the  old  plan 
of  Government  regulation  and  taxation. 

There  are  certain  definite  things  that  prohibition 
has  accomplished  that  may  not  be  gainsaid. 

In  the  first  place  it  has  eliminated  for  all  time  the 
saloon  and  the  brass  rail,  once  the  most  insidious  in- 
fluences in  American  life.  The  saloon,  corrupter  of 
morals  and  robber  of  the  poor,  has  been  buried  in  a 
tomb  so  strongly  buttressed  that  even  the  wicked 
axes  and  battering  ram  of  the  wet  propagandist  will 
forever  be  turned  aside  by  its  bastions. 

In  the  heighth  of  the  wet  era  there  were  nearly  six 
hundred  licensed  saloons  and  nearly  1000  licensed 
places  of  all  kinds  in  the  city  of  Boston.  Within 
the  past  two  years  75%  of  these  have  dried  up  like 
desert  oases  in  an  August  drouth.  The  specter  of 
the  bartender  has  almost  faded  from  the  picture  of 
American  life.  Today  only  a  few  outposts  of  the 
bygone  era  are  to  be  found  on  the  streets  of  Bos- 

50 


FACTS  ON  PROHIBITION 

ton.  Since  the  licensing  of  saloons  was  blotted  out 
by  the  Volstead  standard  of  one-half  of  one  per  cent, 
there  are  no  accurate  figures  as  to  the  numbers  of 
bars  which  continue  to  do  business  in  Boston;  but 
my  experience  as  enforcement  agent  has  convinced 
me  that  less  than  one-fourth  of  them  have  survived. 

These  places  exist  for  the  ostensible  purpose  of 
selling  near-beer  but  many  of  them  still  cater  to  the 
outraged  appetite  of  the  drinker  of  something  of 
the  "hard*'  variety.  The  liquor  is  sold  in  small  quan- 
tities and  at  tremendous  prices.  The  eye  of  the  bar- 
tender is  ever  watchful  for  the  unwelcome  appear- 
ance of  a  Federal  agent.  Each  surreptitious  move  is 
a  part  of  a  well-conceived  scheme  for  eluding  the 
agent  who  may  take  him  unawares. 

The  second  convincing  result  of  prohibition  is  the 
reduction  in  the  number  of  arrests  for  drunkenness, 
not  only  in  Massachusetts,  but  throughout  the  United 
States. 

A  glance  at  the  following  table,  covering  the  ar- 
rests for  drunkenness  in  1917  and  1921  in  the  thir- 
teen Massachusetts  cities  which  were  wet  in  1917, 
brings  but  one  conclusion: 

ARRESTS  FOR  DRUNKENNESS 
MASSACHUSETTS  CITIES  WET  IN  1917. 
1915  1920 

Popula-   Popula-  Arrests 

tion          tion  1917  1921 

Boston 745,439    748,060  72,897  30,409 

Chelsea   43,426      43,184  1,885  979 

Chicopee 30,138      36,214  780  223 

Gloucester 24,478      22,947  776  185 

Holyoke    60,816      60,203  1,652  598 

Lawrence 90,257      94,270  2,962  1,860 

Lowell 107,978     112.759  4,375  1,833 

Marlboro    15,250      15,028  351  67 

New  Bedford 109,568     121,217  2,427  1,167 

Northampton 21,654      21,957  558  122 

51 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

Pittsfield 39,607      41,763      1,996        361 

Springfield   102,971     129,614      2,622         8&+ 

Worcester 162,967    179,754      7,257      2,981 

Every  city  having  open  saloons  in  1917  had  more 
arrests  that  year  than  in  either  1920  or  1921  the 
two  prohibition  years  and  with  two  exceptions  the 
1920  and  1921  arrests  added  together  do  not  equal 
the  arrests  for  the  last  year  under  license,  1917. 

One  may  foolishly  inquire  why  drunkenness  was 
not  wholy  eliminated.  Drunkenness  will  not 
completely  pass  imtil  the  cause  of  dnmkenness  has 
been  ruthlessly  wiped  from  the  surface  of  the  United 
States,  not  until  an  outraged  public  has  risen  up  in 
wrath  to  demand  genuine  enforcement  and  a  new 
generation  with  new  ideals  and  contempt  for  old 
traditions  of  evil  has  grown  up  to  supersede  the 
present. 

The  "wets"  have  made  much  capital  over  the  fact 
that  there  has  been  an  increase  in  the  number  of 
arrests  for  drunkenness  during  the  past  year  over  the 
first  year  of  Constitutional  prohibition.  This  is  not 
such  an  alarming  feature  of  the  enforcement  prob- 
lem as  the  foes  of  prohibition  would  have  us  believe; 
and  for  two  reasons,  first  because  the  number  of 
drunks  is  far  lower  than  in  the  days  of  the  saloon, 
secondly,  because  it  results  from  a  definite  and  antici- 
pated phase  in  the  enforcement  of  the  dry  laws. 

The  schemes  of  the  rum-runner  and  bootlegger 
were  not  conceived  over  night.  They  were  the  re- 
sults of  weeks  and  months  of  plotting  and  devising. 
The  opening  period  of  forbearance  was  inevitably 
to  be  followed  by  the  growth  of  an  illicit  traffic.  A 
period  of  reconstruction  must  inevitably  follow  the 
enactment  of  this  legislation  even  as  a  long  and  not 
yet  completed  period  of  reconstruction  followed  the 
granting  of  equal  rights  to  the  black  man.  The  illicit 
trafficker,  with  the  encouragement  of  a  vociferous 
minority  and  of  many  public  officials  has  found  how 
to  evade  the  law. 

62 


FACTS  ON  PROHIBITION 

The  bootlegging  problem,  then,  is  not  a  problem 
of  prohibition,  but  a  problem  of  reconstruction. 
Patronage  of  the  bootlegger  is  the  waning  expres- 
sion of  opinion  by  the  minority  who  are  unwilling 
to  accept  the  will  of  the  majority.  It  will  decrease 
progressively  as  the  public — and  especially  the  East, 
for  prohibition  is  solidly  established  in  the  South 
and  Central  West — become  more  accustomed  to  the 
dry  laws  and  AS  THE  DRINKER  BECOMES 
MORE  AND  MORE  CONSCIOUS  OF  THE  DAN- 
GER THAT  LURKS  IN  EVERY  DROP  OF 
ILLICIT  WHISKEY. 

Another  point  that  bears  directly  upon  the  question 
of  the  recent  increase  in  arrests.  More  drunkenness 
is  not  an  evidence  that  more  liquor  is  being  drunk; 
it  is  simply  an  added  proof  of  the  poisonous  char- 
acter of  bootlegged  whiskey.  This  statement  is 
based  on  positive  evidence  produced  during  my  ex- 
perience as  Chief  Enforcement  Agent. 

The  man  who  once  got  drunk  on  three  drinks,  can 
now  get  ^runk  on  one.  Some  of  the  whiskey  I  have 
seized  would  make  the  Statue  of  Liberty  tipsy. 

Expert  gagers  of  the  Revenue  Department  who 
carefully  tested  and  analyzed  various  brands  of  gin 
and  whiskey  seized  during  the  late  months  of  1921 
were  amazed  that  the  human  stomach  could  hold 
such  stuff  even  for  the  space  of  five  minutes. 

Bootlegged  whiskey  comes  from  two  main  sources, 
illegal  distilling  and  smuggling.;  The  whiskey  dis- 
tilled in  the  slum,  on  the  farms  and  in  the  remote 
place  of  New  England  is  made  one  day  and  sold 
the  next,  whereas  whiskey,  for  even  legitimate  use, 
is  unfit  to  drink  unless  it  has  been  aged.  The  dollar- 
chasing  traffic  of  the  rum-maker  is  too  profitable  for 
him  to  age  his  product.  It  is  sold  to  the  unsuspect- 
ing drinker  with  all  of  the  wood  alcohol,  fusel  oil 
and  other  poisonous  ingredients  that  poisen  the  sys- 
tem and  deaden  the  vitals.  Liqour  smuggled  across 
the  border  from  Canada  is  almost  equally  new  and 

53 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

dangerous.  The  so  called  "White  Horse"  whiskey- 
seized  in  the  Quincy  House  raid  was  of  such  a  char- 
acter that  it  could  not  fail  to  result  in  a  drunken 
carousal.  I  have  been  told  by  persons  who  were 
present  prior  to  my  arrival — and  who  were  invited 
(I  was  not) — that  a  single  large  drink  "put  under" 
some  of  the  guests. 

The  best  advice  that  I  can  give  to  the  public  is 
this:  every  man  who  takes  a  drink  of  liquor  which 
he  did  not  personally  buy  before  June  1,  1919,  is  do- 
ing so  at  the  risk  of  his  health.  Every  man  who 
drinks  indiscriminately  liquor  sold  by  the  bootlegger 
is  digging  his  own  grave  just  as  surely  as  if  the  pick 
and  shovel  were  in  his  hands. 

If  men  could  once  visit  some  of  the  foul  places  in 
which  the  vile  stuff  is  made  they  would  quake  with 
shame  that  it  had  ever  touched  their  lips.  I  have 
seen  stills  turning  out  scores  of  gallons  a  day  from 
out  houses,  slaughter  houses  and  piggeries  reeking 
with  filth  and  the  stale  odors  of  dirt  and  dung.  I 
have  arrested  guardians  of  stills  so  filthy  in  their 
persons  that  one  would  involuntarily  shun  them  on 
the  sidewalk;  yet  these  man  handled  their  product 
carelessly,  doubtless  drank  from  the  open  containers 
and  cared  nothing  if  the  liquor  came  in  contact  with 
their  persons. 

This  is  the  sort  of  liquor  that  is  being  sold  today 
to  the  habitual  drinker  in  New  England  and  in  every 
city  where  the  bootlegging  traffiic  thrives.  This  is 
the  vile  stuff  for  which  men  pay  50  cents  and  a  dol- 
lar per  swallow.  And  this  is  the  product  which  is 
keeping  the  police  busy  dragging  men  from  the  gut- 
ters into  the  lower  courts. 

A  trafHc  of  this  kind  can  have  only  a  fleeting  evist- 
ence.  It  will  reap  its  harvest  of  broken  bodies  and 
souls,  but  wiser  men  and  women  will  desert  it. 

Whatever  else  may  be  argued  from  figures,  they 
show  that  drunkenness  has  decreased  in  volume 
since  1917.    What  is  true  of  Boston  and  Massachu- 

54 


FACTS  ON  PROHIBITION 

setts  is  equally  true  of  other  cities  and  states  through- 
out the  nation,  except  in  sections  which  had  pre- 
viously enjoyed  State-wide  prohibition.  A  survey  of 
the  forty-eight  States  completed  by  the  New  York 
World  after  two  years  of  prohibition  indicated  a 
greatly  reduced  number  of  drunkenness  arrests 
throughout  the  nation.  In  many  cases  the  totals 
have  been  reduced  two-third  from  the  year  1916. 
Chicago,  one  of  the  outstanding  exceptions,  is  the 
most  notorious  crime  city  in  the  country  under  its 
present  administration  and  there  has  been  no  genuine 
attempt  at  enforcement  there. 

Greater  New  York,  with  its  nearly  10,000,000  resi- 
dents, has  been  the  most  noteworthy  battle-ground 
of  the  "wets"  and  *'drys".  In  that  great  metropolitan 
area,  covering  Newaik,  Jersey  City  and  Hoboken  as 
well  as  New  York  City,  drunk  arrests  have  been  re- 
duced more  than  one-half. 

The  third  definite  achievement  of  prohibition  is  a 
social  one.  It  is  to  be  noted  in  improved  conditions 
in  the  homes  of  the  poor  which  are  unanimously  re- 
ported by  social  workers  and  others  having  to  do 
with  the  administration  of  charities.  The  phonograph 
has  replaced  the  empty  bottle;  ordinary  home  com- 
forts have  found  their  way  into  families  which  be- 
fore had  known  only  want  and  privation. 

Herbert  C.  Parsons,  Deputy  Probation  Commis- 
sioner of  Massachusetts  furnishes  one  of  the  most 
convincing  testimonials  on  the  results  of  prohibition : 

"The  reports  of  our  probation  officers  who  visit 
in  the  home  are  distinctly  favorable  as  to  the  better 
conditions  of  the  homes.  Their  opinions  as  to  the 
benefits  of  prohibition  are  nearly  unanimous. 

"We  think  that  this  altered  condition  is  directly 
reflected  in  the  recent  decline  in  juvenile  delinquency, 
which  has  been  most  marked.  The  juvenile  probation 
officers  attribute  it  to  the  same  cause.  While  our 
figures  include  only  the  cases  placed  on  probation, 
these  may  be  taken  as  a  gage  of  all  juvenile  cases. 

55 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

During  1921  in  Massachusetts  fewer  children  under 
twelve  years  of  age  were  placed  on  probation  than 
in  any  previous  year.  This  is  a  remarkable  fact 
because  of  recent  years  the  number  had  been  increas- 
ing due  to  the  large  uses  of  the  juvenile  court." 

Regarding  the  drunkenness  cases,  which  have  al- 
ready been  alluded  to,  Mr.  Parsons  stated: 

"The  recent  increase  in  the  volume  of  drunkenness 
may  be  ascribed  to  any  or  all  of  several  causes.  The 
character  of  the  liquor  is  such  that  the  drunken  man 
now  taken  to  the  station  house  goes  very  fast  after 
his  first  one  or  two  drinks  and  is  a  pitiable  figure. 
The  moderate  drinker  who  occasionally  stepped  over 
the  line  and  became  tipsy  on  the  streets  has  practi- 
cally disappeared.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  so 
far  as  Boston  is  concerned,  at  least,  the  police  are 
now  more  thorough-going  and  alert." 

The  decline  in  juvenile  delinquency  in  Massachu- 
setts is  shown  by  the  following  figures: 

\  Male  Female  Totals 

1915 - 3,202  154  3,356 

1916 3,441  187  3,628 

1917 4,322  215  4,537 

1918 5,008  258  5,266 

1919 4,989  292  5,281 

1920 3,989  285  4,274 

1921  4,127  294  4,421 

The  decline  in  the  total  probation  cases  throughout 
the  State  is  shown  by  the  following  official  figures : 

1915    27,994 

1916   28,953 

1917   - 30,588 

1918   - 24,017    ■ 

1919  -.  24,537 

1920 18,209 

1921    23,845 

From  these  facts  one  may  venture  far  afield  into 
the  realm  of  speculation.  Consider  records  of  in- 
creasing bank  deposits.     In   1916  total  deposits   in 

56 


FACTS  ON  PROHIBITION 

National  banks  in  this  country  were  $10,877,087,000; 
in  1921  $15,142,331,000,  or  nearly  40  per  cent  greater. 
According  to  records^  of  the  United  States  Treasury 
Department  deposits  in  State  banks  of  all  classes 
were,  for  1916,  $23,499,471,000;  for  1921,  $23,516,- 
468,000,  or  approximately  the  same  despite  a  year 
of  acknowledged  depression  and  unemployment. 

Figures  of  this  sort  may  be  exposed  to  the  con- 
tention that  other  causes  may  have  contribute!  to  the 
condition.  But  if  so,  the  same  reply  may  be  made  to 
one  of  the  most  insidious  attacks  against  prohibition, 
namely,  hat  it  is  responsible  for  the  crime  wave  of 
1921.  What  part  prohibition  may  have  played  in 
contributing  to  a  wave  of  criminal  activity  and  gen- 
eral disregard  of  law  is  a  matter  of  conjecture. 
Crime  waves  have  always  followed  in  the  wake  of  the 
lowering  of  moral  standards  that  attends  a  great  war 
and,  it  may  well  be  argued,  are  the  natural  accom- 
paniment of  an  era  of  great  world  disorder  and  mal- 
content. 

Chargers  of  this  kind  are  the  weapon  of  the  wet 
propagandist,  the  ever-watchful  enemy  of  prohibition 
and  of  all  that  waits  on  human  progress.  The 
propagandist  is  working  twenty-four  hours  a  day. 
He  is  a  vulture  perched  upon  a  precipice,  who  poun- 
ces upon  every  element  of  wrong  and  discontent  to 
tear  it  to  pieces  before  the  public  gaze.  But  the  odor 
of  the  carcass  is  the  odor  which  the  vulture  gives  to 
it.  His  arguments  are  specious.  Prohibition  is 
costly,*  he  says;  therefore  no  amount  of  good  can 
make  it  right;  prohibition  makes  crime  though  no 
one  can  prove  it ;  prohibition  brings  corrupt  influen- 
ces to  bear  on  public  officials ;  therefore  it  is  impos- 
sible of  enforcement.  The  foe  of  prohibition  aims 
to  dissatisfy  the  public  with  it.  There  is  only  one 
way  to  combat  this  implacable  foe  and  that  is  with 
the  truth. 

The  Eighteen  Amendment  is  a  part  of  the  Federal 
Constitution.    It  was   written  into  the  Constituion 

57 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

by  the  orderly  processes  of  Government,  tedious  but 
immutable,  and  approved  by  the  Legislatures  of  45 
of  the  States.  It  can  only  be  erased  by  two-thirds 
of  the  States  reversing  the  action  of  the  whole.  This 
is  clearly  impossible  when  more  than  one-third — 19 
States  to  be  exact — have  accepted  State-wide  prohi- 
bition by  popular  vote. 

The  opposition  to  prohibition  is  central  in  the  East 
and  North.  Defiance  to  the  law  is  a  step  toward 
secession,  even  as  was  the  hostility  of  the  South  half 
a  century  ago,  to  a  step  of  progress  which  it  disap- 
proved. It  is  a  threat  against  the  Union,  which  no 
law-abiding  citizen  will  tolerate,  much  less  nourish. 
For  generations  the  industrial  East  has  dictated  the 
commercial  policies  of  the  nation.  It  is  time  now 
for  the  citizens  of  the  East  to  realize  that  f  ey  can 
not  dictate  the  social  fortunes  of  a  nation.  The  con- 
tention that  prohibition  is  a  minority  law  is  false. 
The  record  of  19  States,  which  have  accepted  prohi- 
bition by  popular  vote  and  16  others  which  had  State- 
wide legislative  prohibition  before  national  prohibi- 
tion prove  that  it  is  false. 

The  success  of  prohibition  will  be  promoted  In  di- 
rect ratio  to  the  education  of  the  public  on  t^  e  sub- 
ject. Citizens  who  know  the  facts  should  preach 
them  and  uphold  the  Constitution  of  the  United 
States. 

It  is  an  out  and  out  fight  for  Law  Enforcement 
not  prohibition,  the  sacredness  of  our  Constitution 
must  be  defended  not  on  Sundays  and  Wednesdays 
but  on  seven  days  a  week,  fifty-two  weeks  a  year. 
Light  Wine  and  Beer 

Letting  down  the  bars,  or  to  be  more  specific, 
opening  the  bars  to  the  sale  of  light  wine  and  beer 
would  be  the  opening  wedge  in  the  nullification  of 
the  Prohibitory  Law.  I  know  from  personal  experi- 
ence the  difficulties  of  suppressing  the  liquor  nuisance 
under  the  present  conditions,  without  making  the 
proposition  nearly  hopeless  by  permitting  the  sale  of 

58 


FACTS  ON  PROHIBITION 

beer.  Every  former  saloon  in  the  country  would 
open,  and  could  exist  on  the  sale  of  beer.  With 
these  '*hell-holes"  running  wide  open,  it  would  be 
next  to  impossible  to  prevent  the  surreptitious  sale 
of  hard  liquors  over  the  bar,  or  by  the  walking  bar 
rooms,  commonly  known  as  hip  bootleggers.  Eighty 
five  percent  of  the  liquor  sold  during  the  license 
years  was  beer. 

The  following  extract  from  a  pamphlet  published 
by  the  Massachusetts  Anti-Saloon  League  clearly  de- 
picts Massachusetts'  own  experiences  in  permitting 
the  sale  of  beer: 

Entirely  aside  from  the  constitutional  difficulties 
and  from  a  consideration  of  the  health  and  welfare 
of  the  people  the  sale  of  a  so-called  light  beer  should 
be  prohibited. 

It  is  universally  recognized  that  it  is  impossible 
to  enforce  prohibition  and  at  the  same  time  permit 
the  continuance  of  the  organized  liquor  trade.  Eva- 
sions and  violations  are  certain  to  occur.  In  other 
words  it  is  impossible  to  have  a  chemist  with  every 
keg. 

In  1869  the  Legislature  of  Massachusetts  passed  a 
law  (Acts  of  1869,  Ch.  415)  which  prohibited  the  sale 
of  all  spirituous  liquors,  and  defined  intoxicating 
liquors  as  covering  spirituous  liquors  and  also  beer, 
ale,  porter  and  wine.  The  following  year  the  law 
was  amended  by  striking  out  the  clause  which  cov- 
ered ale,  beer,  porter  and  wine.  (Acts  of  1870,  Ch. 
389)  Spirituous  liquors  were  prohibited  except  for 
medicinal,  mechanical,  and  i-dustrial  purposes,  and 
the  sale  of  beer,  porter,  ale,  and  wine  was  allowed 
without  restriction  throughout  the  entire  Common- 
wealth. In  other  words  the  conditions  then  were 
as  nearly  identical  with  those  under  a  2f  per  cent 
or  4  per  cent  regime  as  one  might  well  expect  they 
could  be.  And  yet  it  is  a  matter  of  common  knowl- 
edge that  with  the  resumption  of  the  sale  of  beer 
the  cost  of  maintaining  corrective  institutions  almost 

59 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

immediately  jumped  14  per  cent.  An  exhaustive 
analysis  by  the  Boston  HerrJd  shows  that  arrests  for 
drunkenness  increased  72  per  cent  immediately  after 
1869  and  this  increase  was  identical  in  point  of  time 
with  exemption  of  beer  from  prohibition. 

Every  day  knowledge,  the  experience  of  Massa- 
chusetts, and  that  of  other  states  caused  Congress  to 
reject  by  overwhelming  majorities  numerous  amend- 
ments proposing  to  exempt  beer  from  the  prohibition 
of   the   Eighteen    Amendment  to  the    Constitution. 

It  should,  also,  be  noted  that,  while  six  states  out 
of  the  48  do  not  define  intoxicating  liquors,  18  de- 
fine as  intoxicating  any  liquor  containing  any  alco- 
hol, making  a  total  of  35  out  of  42  which  define  in- 
toxicating liquors,  that  recognize  the  validity  and 
necessity  of  at  least  a  i  of  1  per  cent  standard. 

Common  experience,  the  deliberations  of  legisla- 
tive bodies,  and  the  decisions  of  the  highest  judicial 
tribunals  join  in  compelling  the  conclusion  that  to 
permit  the  sale  of  beer  "would  faciliate  subterfuges 
and  frauds  and  fetter  the  enforcement  of  the  law;*' 
that  to  prohibit  the  sale  of  beer  "is  an  essential  of 
either  effective  enforcement  or  effective  prohibition 
of  intoxicating  liquors." 


«0 


PUBLICITY 

PUBLICITY— IT  MADE  AND  IT  UNMADE  ME 
Chapter  VI. 

Publicity,  it  made  me,  it  kept  me  on  the  job  several 
months  after  I  was  billed  for  the  discard  and  at  the 
end  to  a  certain  extent  was  my  undoing. 

If  there  was  any  one  thing  that  stood  out  in  my 
enforcement  work  that  is  to  be  of  lasting  benefit  to 
the  cause  of  prohibition  it  is  the  publicity  that  was 
given  to  my  activities.  Public  attention  was  focused 
upon  law  enforcement  from  the  Top  Down  rather 
than  from  the  Bottom  Part  Way  Up  in  such  a  way 
that  those  who  are  perniciously  scheming  to  under- 
mine the  constitutional  law  of  the  land  had  better 
watch  their  step. 

The  better  class  of  citizens  in  this  country  will  not 
tolerate  a  law  administered  with  differing  degrees  of 
elasticity  for  different  classes  of  people.  If  there 
is  to  be  any  immunity  or  humanizing  of  penalties 
it  ought  to  be  in  inverse  ratio  to  the  wealth  and  in- 
tellectuality of  the  culprit.  The  man  who  has  been 
entrusted  with  the  enforcement  of  any  law  or  has 
been  elected  to  some  high  office  and  winks  at,  or  openly 
violates  the  law  he  is  sworn  to  uphold,  is  a  greater 
menace  to  law  and  order  than  the  ordinary  thief  or 
bootlegger.  It  is  the  highbrow  constitution  dodger 
who  deserves  the  most  drastic  treatment. 

Graft  and  hypocrisy  in  high  places  cannot  thrive 
on  publicity.  Fresh  air  and  sunlight  are  the  best 
preventitives  for  filth  and  disease.  The  same  is  true 
with  corruption.  It  cannot  stand  the  persistent  piti- 
less publicity  that  ex-mayor  John  F.  Fitzgerald  of 
Boston  has  had  so  much  to  say  about  in  the  past 
but  unfortunately  has  been  unable  to  put  into  uni- 
versal practice. 

A  Federal  or  State  office  holder,  whether  he  be 
elective  or  appointive,  is  a  public  servant.  The 
people  pay  the  bills  and  have  a  right  to  expect  ser- 
vice.   The  only  means  at  the  disposal  of  the  public 

61 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

for  finding  out  what  is  going  on  behind  the  scenes 
in  Federal  of  State  offices  is  pubUcity.  When  the 
public  awakens  to  the  need  of  demanding  more  news, 
rather  than  less,  regarding  its  officials,  there  will  be 
less  graft  and  less  hypocrisy. 

I  considered  my  office  as  Chief  Prohibition  En- 
forcement Officer  in  Massachusetts  a  public  trust 
and  invited  the  freest  inspection  by  the  public,  or- 
ganization committees,  newspaper  reporters,  or  who 
ever  might  be  in  any  way  interested  and  if  it  is  ever 
my  fortune  to  hold  another  public  trust  I  will  again 
take  the  people  into  my  confidence. 

No  presidental  candidate  was  ever  more  persistent- 
ly in  the  lime  light  than  I  was  during  my  7i  months 
experience  in  the  Massachusetts  prohibition  depart- 
ment. I  have  been  quoted  as  saying  so  many  things 
that  I  never  said  nor  even  dreamed  of  that  during 
the  later  days  of  my  tenure  of  the  office  of  Chief 
Prohibition  Enforcement  Officer,  I  had  to  pinch  my- 
self occasionally  to  make  sure  I  was  the  same  Harold 
D.  Wilson  so  freely  quoted  in  the  press. 

Daniel  Webster  was  supposed  to  have  had  a  won- 
derful command  of  the  English  language.  His 
vocabulary  was  immense,  but  he  had  nothing  on  me 
if  I  actually  said  all  I  was  reported  to  have  said, 
in  as  many  different  ways,  employing  such  varying 
phrases  and  such  a  multiplicity  of  words. 

The  principle  argument  of  some  people  against 
my  enforcement  was  my  alleged  volubility.  I  was 
condemned  for  too  much  publicity,  irrespective  of 
whether  or  not  I  was  actually  to  blame.  I  was  even 
told  that  my  so  called  superior,  Potter,  should  have 
received  the  publicity  and  not  Wilson  as  if  I  was 
in  a  position  to  dictate  to  the  newspapers  what  raids 
they  would  cover  and  what  names  they  would  use.  A 
man  sitting  in  a  swivel  chair  smoking  a  T.  D.  is  not 
news.  A  man  jumping  over  the  top  of  a  bar  is 
quite  apt  to  make  news  whether  he  wills  it  or  not. 

If  a  dog  bites  a  man  it  is  not  news,  but  if  a  man 


PUBLICITY 

bites  a  dog  it  is  front  page  copy.  When  I  raided  a 
poor  Italian  in  the  North  End  there  was  little  news 
to  it,  but  when  I  captured  the  entire  police  depart- 
ment of  Wrentham  drinking  in  the  town  fire  station 
it  was  news  of  the  first  order,  and  it  was  Wilson 
news,  not  Potter  news.  No  amount  of  humility  on 
my  part  could  have  substituted  the  name  of  Potter 
for  Wilson. 

As  Prohibition  Chief,  I  had  no  better  friends  than 
the  newspaper  reporters,  who  followed  me  about  day 
after  day.  Sometimes  a  paper  took  a  wholesome 
slam  at  Wilson  but  as  a  rule  I  was  used  very  fairly. 
Occasionally  a  cub  or  hostile  reporter  would  attribute 
verbiage  to  me  that  I  never  emitted  but  such  effus- 
sions  are  to  be  expected  in  publicity.  No  man  can 
reap  the  benefits  and  not  get  the  backfire  when  he  is 
continually  receiving  press  notices. 

I  am  quite  willing  to  bear  the  condemnation  of 
some  conservatives,  who  would  have  no  publicity 
except  their  own  variety,  firm  in  the  conviction  that 
public  attention  has  been  focussed  upon  the  fact  that 
there  is  a  law  enforcement  department  and  that  un- 
der my  regime  an  honest  wholehearted  attempt  was 
made  to  have  it  function.  The  public  is  so  thor- 
oughly aroused  that  no  let  up  will  be  permitted. 

The  following  editorial  appearing  in  the  North 
Adams  Transcript  on  January  28,  1922,  is  very  much 
to  the  point  relative  to  the  valu2  of  the  publicity  re- 
ceived by  the  prohibition  department  during  my 
tenure  of  office:-^ 

UP   TO  POTTER 

A  few  days  ago,  when  it  was  reported  that,  as  a 
means  of  terminating  the  impossible  situation  growing 
out  of  the  Wilson-Potter  feud,  Wilson  was  to  be  "let 
out  through  the  top,"  we  said  that  while  the  federal 
authorities  may  have  hit  upon  the  best  solution,  they 
made  the  wrong  choice  for  a  very  definite  reason. 

And  that  reason  grows  out  of  the  very  reason  as- 
signed by  Commissioner  Haynes  for  the  peremptory  dis- 
missal of  Wilson  from  the  prohibition  enforcement  ser- 
vice,  following  his  refusal  to  accept  the   "promotion" 

63 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

that  was  offered  him;  namely,  his  temperament. 

For  it  is  nothing  more  nor  less  than  Wilson's  tem- 
perament that  has  made  prohibition  enforcement  an  ex- 
ceedingly live  topic  of  public  interest  and  discussion 
throughout  Massachusetts  today;  that  has,  in  fact,  very 
effectively  lifted  that  subject  out  of  the  serene  depths 
of  complacent  tolerance  and  amused   skepticism. 

It  may  be,  as  Mr.  Potter  charges,  that  he  has  done 
this  to  get  himself  talked  about.  We  don't  know  as  to 
that. 

What  we  do  know  is  that  he  has  gotten  prohibition 
enforcement  talked  about. 

And  he  has  gotten  it  talked  about  by  doing  the  very 
things  that  complaceny  and  skepticism  had  confidently 
assumed  couldn't  or  wouldn't  be  done. 

The  result  has  been  a  severe  jolt  for  complacency;  a 
new  and  questioning  note  among  the  skeptical  from  one 
end  of  the  state  to  the  other ;  an  uneasy  feeling  of  won- 
der as  to  how  far  this  sort  of  thing  might  be  carried  and 
where  it  would  strike  next  in  some  quarters;  a  quick- 
ened interest  as  to  it  possibilities  in  others. 

And  that  result  was,  we  maintain,  of  far  greater  im- 
portance under  existing  circumstances  than  any  so- 
called  "practical"  results  as  recorded  in  the  mere  statis- 
tics of  confiscations  and  convictions  growing  out  of  Mr. 
Wilson's  personal  activities. 

It  was  a  result  that  could  be  nullified  in  only  one 
way;  namely,  by  confirmation  of  the  cynical  (and  none 
too  confident)  prediction  that  Wilson  was  due  for  the 
toboggan. 

Because  the  action  taken  by  Commissioners  Haynes 
and  Blair  in  this  case  rightly  or  wrongly  will  be  con- 
strued as  nothing  more  nor  less  than  such  a  confirma- 
tion, we  regard  their  decision  as  a  grave  mistake. 

'Commissioner  Haynes  says  that  no  question  of  Wil- 
son's "honesty,  energy  or  interest"  is  involved  in  the 
situation. 

Conceding  the  same  to  be  true  of  Mr.  Potter,  it  w-- 
merely  a  matter  of  judgment  as  to  which  should  be 
retained  in  the  interests  of  the  work  to  be  done  in 
Massachusetts. 

For  the  reasons  here  set  forth,  and  for  no  other  rea- 
sons, fully  recognizing  that  a  choice  had  to  be  made,  we 
believe  that  good  judgment  dictated  a  choice  contrary 
to  the  one  that  was  made. 

Since  the  opposite  course  was  taken,  the  vindication 
of  the  commissioners'  judgment  rests  with  Mir.  Potter 
as  head  of  the  departmnet  in  this  state. 

He  says  that  the  enei^ies  of  the  department  will  be 

64 


PUBLICITY 

devoted  to  enforcing  the  law  and  not  to  seeking  personal 
publicity. 

Well  and  good,  so  far  as  "personal"  publicity  goes. 

But  if  he  means  that  henceforth  there  need  be  no 
apprehension  in  Massachusetts  of  the  kind  of  unpleas- 
ant publicity  that  is  inseparable  from  a  vigorous  and 
impartial  prosecution  of  the  law,  he  will  not  justify  the 
judgment  of  his  superiors  in  the  public  estimation. 

Eliminating  all  personal  considerations,  Wilson  has 
set  a  popular  standard  that  Potter  must  live  up  to. 

And  the  public  is  not  going  to  judge  the  result  on  the 
basis  of  statistics. 

It  is  going  to  judge  by  the  test  of  who  the  law  hits, 
who  it  fails  to  hit,  and  why. 

Publicity  is  an  art.  That  is,  the  publicity  that 
gets  beneficial  results  and  nothing  else.  Some  peo- 
ple apparently  believe  it  is  a  haphazard  hit  or  miss 
proposition,  and,  unfortunately,  many  of  our  dry  or- 
ganizations and  churches  conduct  their  advertising 
in  that  manner.  Such  is  not  the  case,  however,  with 
the  wet  interests.  They  are  not  only  persistent  in 
their  publicity  but  shrewd  and  systematic.  Some  of 
the  most  injurious  propaganda  against  prohibition 
enforcement  is  disseminated  by  ardent  church  mem- 
bers after  the  false  seed  has  been  slyly  sown  by  the 
wet  propagandist. 

I  know  two  newspaper  reporters  who  are  said  to 
be  regularly  receiving  pay  from  certain  wet  politi- 
cians. This  statement  is  not  a  mere  assertion  as  I 
can  back  it  up  with  concrete  proof.  One  of  these 
men  spends  most  of  his  time  in  Washington  and  the 
other  is  a  well-known  Boston  reporter.  Both  have 
attacked  Wilson  at  every  opportunity,  and  I  have 
aways  considered  their  abuse  as  wholly  complimen- 
tary. The  wets  never  waste  their  ammunition  on 
harmless  or  passive  drys. 

Big  business  spends  thousands  of  dollars  yearly 
for  advertising  experts  to  protect  its  public  good 
will,  and  gubernatorial  candidates  if  wise  immediate- 
ly secure  publicity  agents  to  supervise  their  newspa- 
per campaign.  Without  such  an  agent  the  average 
candidate  would  hang  himself  in  a  week. 

65 


DRY  LAWS  AND  ^TET  POLITICIANS 

I  was  in  the  calcium  light  of  continued  publicity 
for  several  months.  The  glare  was  much  stronger 
than  turned  upon  the  average  candidate  for  high 
office,  yet,  I  had  to  go  it  single  handed  except  for 
the  advice  of  friendly  reporters.  I  cannot  say  too 
much  at  this  point  for  these  go  through  lads.  Many 
of  them  went  over  the  top  with  me  in  bar  rooms,  in 
kitchen  dives,  and  in  elaborate  West  End  distilleries 
with  as  much  speed  and  as  much  enthusiasm  as  my 
best  agents.  They  not  only  covered,  but  entered  in- 
to the  spirit  of  raids  in  all  kinds  of  weather  and  un- 
der many  really  trying  and  dangerous  conditions. 

I  could  name  from  six  to  ten  Boston  reporters  in 
whom  I  have  the  most  explicit  faith  as  to  their  re- 
portorial  judgment  and  accuracy.  Men  who  have 
kept  my  feet  on  the  ground  on  many  occasions  when 
the  slightest  betrayal  of  confidence  on  their  part 
would  have  been  not  only  extremely  embarrassing 
but  very  injurious. 

These  news  sleuths  work  with,  not  against  the 
men  they  are  covering  and  their  friendship  is  in- 
valuabe  to  any  man  in  public  life. 

On  the  other  hand,  a  strange  newspaperman  may 
occasionally  wander  into  the  fold  and  then  look  out 
for  breakers  ahead.  He  has  to  be  received  cordially, 
for  it  is  foolhardy  to  try  to  cover  up  but  no  one 
knows  just  what  to  expect.  He  may  be  out  to  get 
you  or  he  may  be  simply  lacking  in  newspaper  acu- 
men, but  you  are  out  of  luck  in  either  event.  An 
unfriendly  reporter  can  do  more  damage  in  a  three 
word  interview  than  can  be  rectified  in  a  week  of 
legitimate   publicity. 

The  publicity  artist  or  notoriety  seeker,  in  public 
life  soon  loses  the  confidence  of  the  press  and  thus 
defeats  his  own  ends,  while  the  shrinking  gumshoe 
politician  who  finds  the  pitiless  glare  of  publilcity 
a  handicap  is  often  played  up  on  the  front  pages. 
The  man  who  would  cover  up  cannot,  and  the  man 


PUBLICITY 

who  would  talk  for  publicity  can  get  no  paper  to  pub- 
lish his  story. 

No  man  can  get  into  the  newspaper  headlines  un- 
less he  makes  news,  and  it  he  does  make  news  he  gets 
in  whether  he  wills  it  or  not.  Ponzi,  Pelletier  and 
Fatty  Arbuckle  can  hardly  be  termed  voluntary  no- 
toriety seekers,  yet  column  after  column  has  been 
published  about  them. 

I  suppose  Theodore  Roosevelt  was  the  greatest 
publicity  artist  the  world  has  ever  known.  He  could 
make  a  speech  and  raise  his  hand  to  silence  the  ap- 
plause, and  actually  be  leading  the  cheering.  He 
was  pictured  as  the  incarnation  of  personal  conceit 
by  some  short  sighted  politicians  who  now,  that  he 
is  dead,  proclaim  him  as  the  great  American.  It 
will  be  many  a  long  day  before  his  equal  is  found  as 
a  leader  in  lifting  the  American  public  opinion  out 
of  the  doldrums  of  petty,  personal  selfishness. 

Roosevelt  got  publicity  because  he  was  energtic  and 
belligerant  in  his  actions.  His  statements  were 
breezy  and  emphatic.  He  was  always  definitely  on 
one  side  of  a  question  or  the  other.  He  was  never 
neutral,  therefore  he  was  always  news. 

I  have  heard  the  Hon.  J.  Weston  Allen,  Attorney 
General  of  Massachusetts,  called  a  publicity  artist. 
Why  ?  Simply  because  he  is  continually  in  the  news- 
paper head  lines. 

Does  Mr.  Allen  seek  the  newspapers  for  inter- 
views or  do  the  reporters  trail  him? 

The  Attorney  General  gets  publicity  because  he 
does  things  not  in  the  usual  conventional,  soft-pedal 
way  of  bellowing  at  the  little  fellows  and  overlooking 
the  big  ones,  but  in  the  unusual,  unorthodox,  un- 
expected, unheard  of  (in  polite  society)  manner  of 
a  Roosevelt. 

He  is  fighting  the  people's  fight  and  the  public 
knows  it.  The  newspapers  are  purveyors  of  public 
opinion.  The  editors  are  in  intimate  and  constant 
touch    with  the  pulse  of  the  people.      They   know 

67 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

what  is  wanted  in  the  way  of  news  and  as  a  result, 
Attorney  General  Allen  keeps  on  the  front  page. 

The  peanut  headed  politicians,  and  unfortunately 
we  have  many  of  the  variety,  scream  from  the  roof 
tops  "Allen  is  a  notoriety  seeker."  He  is  too  volu- 
ble; he  is  in  constant  pursuit  of  personal  aggrandise- 
ment; he  is  ambitious  for  the  governorship. 

If  the  pea  heads  had  sufficient  gray  matter  to  put 
two  and  two  together,  they  would  realize  the  Attor- 
ney General  was  taking  his  job  seriously,  and  in  so 
doing  was  doing  the  unusual,  the  extraordinary.  As 
a  consequence  his  every  move,  his  most  casual  utter- 
ance, is  news. 

To  be  sure,  Mr.  Allen  is  continually  boosting  him- 
self for  every  time  he  does  anything  worth  while, 
he  adds  just  so  much  to  his  prestige.  Today  he  is 
undoubtedly  the  strongest  gubernatorial  possibility 
in  the  State,  not  because  he  has  been  aiming  at  that 
particular  position,  but  because  he  has  been  true, 
aggressive,  and  unswerving  in  his  public  trust.  He 
found  a  man-sized  job  and  is  trying  to  fill  it. 

The  two-cent  politi'-ians,  as  Congressman  Under- 
bill was  wont  to  call  his  colleagues  in  the  Massachu- 
setts Legislature  prior  to  his  promotion  to  Washing- 
ton, are  too  much  concerned  with  their  own  petty 
personal  affairs,  and  too  little  interested  in  the  safe 
keeping  of  the  public  weal  to  see  anything  but  the 
personal  aggrandisement  of  a  Roosevelt,  or  an  Allen 
or  any  other  unafraid,  unfettered  public  official  who 
does  things  off  the  ordinary.  Jealousy  is  their  first 
pang,  when  they  see  another  getting  publicity  which 
they  crave,  themselves,  (but  lack  the  moral  courage 
and  initiative  to  obtain),  they  scream  notoriety  seeker. 

It  is  barely  possible  that  Wilson,  the  notoriety 
seeker,  as  some  will  have  it,  was  more  or  less  a  vic- 
tim of  circumstances.  Perhaps  his  idea  of  enforcing 
the  prohibitory  law  from  the  Top  Down  rather  than 
from  the  Bottom  Part  Way  Up  was  so  unusual, 
so  unique,  that  he  automotically  became  news.     Pos- 

68 


PUBLIQTY 

sibly  the  newspaper  reporters  trailed  him  not  Wilson 
the  reporters. 

I  might  deny  at  length  certain  statements  attri- 
buted to  me,  but  such  a  denial  would  answer  no  use- 
ful purpose.  The  best  policy  in  publicity,  unless 
favored  with  an  advertising  expert  as  an  advisor,  is 
one  of  humility  and  thankfulness  that  misstatements 
are  no  worse. 

I  have  only  the  kindliest  feeling  for  the  press  of 
Massachusetts,  and  feel  that  the  publicity  I  received, 
whatever  its  effect  on  Wilson,  has  been  of  inesti- 
miable  value  to  prohibition  law  enforcement. 

Wilson  *'Statue"  Inscription  Contest 

One  of  the  most  hopeful  signs  relative  to  prohi- 
bition law  enforcement  is  the  universal  interest  in 
the  subject.  It  is  discussed  on  the  street  corner,  in 
the  railroad  car,  and  everywhere  people  congregate. 
The  discussions,  to  be  sure  are  often  grossly  exag- 
gerated upofi  one  side  or  the  other,  but  that  is  of  lit- 
tle consequence  in  comparison  with  the  importance 
of  keeping  the  topic  alive.  If  the  people  continually 
talk  about  anything,  sooner  or  later,  the  truth  will 
come  into  its  own. 

There  is  no  better  illustration  of  the  universal  in- 
terest in  law  enforce  than  the  "Wilson  'Statue'  In- 
scription Contest"  conducted  by  the  Boston  Traveler 
during  the  latter  part  of  January  and  the  first  of 
February,  1922.  It  is  reported  that  thousands  of 
inscriptions  were  received. 

The  four  prize  winning  inscriptions  and  some 
twenty  others  which  received  honorable  mention  are 
published : 

The  Winners 

First  prize,  Morris  B.  Parkinson,  73  Collidge 
Street,  Brookline.  "He  refused  to  be  clay  in  the 
hands  of  the  Totter.' "      ' 

Second  prize,  Miss  Alice  M.  Wing,  3  Wallingford 

69 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

Road,  Brighton.  'Tilgrim  pause  and  note  this  fact , 
Wilson  Mied'  for  the  Volstead  Act." 

Third  prize,  Stuart  Tod,  497  Boylston  Street, 
Brookline.  "A  man  of  understanding  holdeth  his 
peace." 

Fourth  prize,  Edward  Reynolds,  152  North  Beacon 
Street,  Brighton.  "Wilson  will  be  remembered  long- 
er as  a  beverage  than  as  a  reformer." 

Win  Honorable  Mention 

Deposed,  like  the  Kaiser,  he  reposes  *in  Dutch' " — 
By  Anna  L.  Stearns,  55  Magazine  Street,  Cambridge, 
suite  1. 

"Win  or  lose,  he  seized  the  booze,  he's  gone  but 
not  forgotten" — By  G.  A.  Freeman,  471  Maple  Street, 
Manchester,  N.  H. 

"The  spirit  of  1922"— By  Edward  A.  Filene,  Bos-: 
ton,  Mass. 

"Be  not  too  zealous,  lest  the  zeal  consume  thee" — 
By  H.  Kelleher,  7  Bowdoin  Street,  Medford,  Mass. 

"Destroy  the  booze  or  destroy  the  law" — By  W. 
P.  Fitzgerald,  1515  Blue  Hill  Ave.,  Mattapan,  Mass. 

"The  Carrie  Nation  of  1922"— By  Marguerite 
Hatch,  North  Cohsaset,  Mass. 

"Untiring  worker,  brave  and  bold,  but  lacking 
knowledge,  his  tongue  to  hold" — By  Mabel  Webb 
Edmands,  78  Forest  Street,  Wellesley  Hills,  Mass. 

"To  dangerous  a  hitter,  so  they  passed  him" — By 
Mrs.  Edward  J.  Spellman,  45  Payson  Road,  Belmont, 
Mass. 

"Removed — for  conduct  unbecoming  an  enforce- 
ment officer" — By  Joseph  French,  Box  161,  Chelms- 
ford, Mass. 

"Oh,  Prohibition,  what  follies  are  committed  in 
thy  name!"— By  Percy  N.  Lane,  335  Water  Street, 
Quincy,  Mass. 

'Search,'  and  the  world  is  with  you.  'Find'  and 
you're  all  alone." — By  E.  Vernon  Peabody,  Pleasant 
Street,  Rowley^  Mass. 

7© 


PUBLICITY 

"Dislodged''— By  Gordon  C.  Douglas,  18  Fuller 
Street,  Brookline,  Mass. 

"The  spirits  beckoned,  he  followed  blindly" — By 
Elizabeth  M.  Bradford,  Parker  House,  Boston,  Mass. 

"There  never  was  a  battle  but  some  one  was 
killed"—  By  Mrs.  J.  H.  Horan,  20  High  Street,  May- 
nard,  Mass. 

'^Kicked  by  a  White  Horse'  ''—By  Mrs.  Anna  M. 
Lambert,  39  Pine  Street,  Belmont,  Mass. 

"He  Spilled  It"— By  C.  A.  Merrill,  40  Meagher 
Avenue,  Milton,  Mass. 

"Sufficient  unto  the  act  is  the  enforcement  there- 
of—By John  J.  Doyle,  389  Cambridge  Street,  Alls- 
ton  34,  Mass. 

"Fired  for  faithfulness"— By  the  Rev.  A.  Z.  Con- 
rad, Park  Street  Church,  Boston,  Mass. 

"Catching  bootleggers  is  all  right,  but  at  a  politi- 
cials'  party — wow — good-night!" — By  Davis  Reid, 
Jordan  Avenue  Wakefield. 

"Never  still  while  a  still  distilled  till  the  distilling 
still  was  still.' — By  Davis  Reid,  Jordan  Avenue, 
Wakefield. 


71 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

OEER  THE  TOP— OR  THE  ZERO  HOUR  FOR 
NEAR  BEER  EMPORIUMS 

Chapter  VII. 

It  is  possible  to  raid  near-bear  saloons  l^ally  in 
but  two  ways.  The  more  common  practice  is  to 
obtain  a  purchase  of  liquor,  go  before  the  United 
States  Commissioner,  secure  a  search  warrant  for 
the  premises  of  the  near-beer  saloon,  or  "hell- 
kitchen"  or  whatever  the  name  of  the  place  making 
the  sale  may  be,  and  then  search  for  illegal  liquor. 
If  anything  is  found  stronger  than  i  of  1%  the 
proprietor  or  bartender  in  charge  or  both  are  arrest- 
ed for  appearance  before  a  United  States  Commis- 
sioner the  next  day. 

The  other  method,  and  generally  the  more  excic- 
ing,  is  to  secure  a  buy  of  liquor  while  another  agent 
is  close  enough  to  see  the  transaction.  The  minute 
the  buy  is  consumated,  the  agent  making  the  pur- 
chase announces  himself  as  a  federal  prohibition 
agent.  The  other  agent  jumps  the  bar  and  arrests 
the  man  making  the  sale.  If  this  man  does  not 
happen  to  be  the  proprietor  and  the  proprietor  is 
present,  he  is  also  arrested.  This  little  knocking- 
off  stunt  generally  precipitates  a  near-riot.  Quick 
and  sometimes  drastic  action  is  necessary  on  the 
part  of  agents  in  order  to  prevent  any  serious  dis- 
orders. Pistols  were  never  drawn  unless  absolutely 
necessary,  but  many,  many  times,  it  was  wise  to  al- 
low the  hangers-on  to  notice  your  pistol  protruding 
from  your  pocket,  or  in  some  other  equally  accessible 
place. 

The  proprietors  or  bar-tenders  seldom  made 
trouble,  although  in  some  instances,  some  rather 
strenuous  set-to's  were  staged  with  these  gentlemen. 
The  hangers-on  made  most  of  the  trouble  and  there 
never  was  any  telling  what  some  half-drunk  man 
might  do  or  throw. 

72 


OVER  THE  TOP 

I  shall  never  forget  the  very  first  bar  room  I 
raided  or  ''knocked  off".  I  had  been  on  the  job 
about  a  week  and  was  itching  for  action.  I  was 
passing  through  Worcester  by  auto  in  company  with 
one  of  my  agents  and  a  green  chauffeur — green,  I 
mean,  in  the  parlance  of  liquor  raiding. 

The  agent  entered  a  rather  notorious  near-beer 
emporium  for  the  purpose  of  making  a  "buy".  1 
carelessly  sauntered  into  the  doorway  of  a  store  just 
across  the  street  where  I  could  see  the  interior  of 
the  saloon.  The  agent  hung  around  the  bar  for 
some  ten  or  fifteen  minutes,  drinking,  much  to  his 
disgust,  a  couple  of  near-beers,  before  he  was  able 
to  win  the  confidence  of  the  bartender  sufficiently  to 
secure  a  buy  of  "shine".  The  minute  he  had  made  his 
purchase  and  the  money  had  been  rung  up  in  the 
cash  register  he  clamped  his  hand  over  the  top 
of  his  glass  of  liquor,  backed  away  from  the  hangers- 
on  in  front  of  the  bar  and  announced  himself  as  a 
federal  prohibition  agent. 

While  he  was  doing  this,  I  rushed  from  my  obser- 
vation post  to  his  rescue.  The  chauffeur,  who  was 
a  game  lad,  even  if  green  at  the  game,  followed  me 
into  the  bar  room.  Several  men  had  jumped  upon 
my  agent  in  an  endeavor  to  make  him  spill  the  evi- 
dence. With  the  assistance  of  the  chauffeur,  the 
hangers-on  were  soon  convinced,  a  part  of  our  argu- 
ment being  driven  home  with  our  fists,  that  it  was 
safer  to  stand  back. 

Arming  the  chauffeur  with  a  threatening-looking 
pistol,  backing  him  into  a  corner,  and  handing  him 
the  evidence  he  was  told  to  guard  it  at  any  cost. 

The  first  duty  of  a  prohibition  agent  is  to  protect 
his  evidence,  regardless  of  what  may  happen  to  him. 
It  is  quite  easy  to  understand  that  a  man  trying  to 
prevent  the  spilling  of  a  glass  of  liquor  in  his  hand 
is  at  a  decided  disadvantage  in  any  rought-and- 
tumble  fight.  During  my  term  as  Chief  Enforce- 
ment Officer  in  Massachusetts,  some  of  my  agents 

73 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

absorbed  considerable  punishment  on  numerous  occa- 
sions rather  than  lose  their  evidence. 

The  agent  with  me  then  jumped  the  bar.  I  was 
new  at  the  game  this  being  my  first  offense  and  did 
not  consider  such  action  necessary.  I  soon  learned 
however,  my  mistake.  As  the  agent  went  over  the 
top,  the  two  men  behind  the  bar  made  a  dive  to 
dump  the  bottle  containing  liquor.  The  agent 
grappled  with  one  man  but  the  other  grabbed  the 
bottle  and  started  pouring  it  down  the  sink.  I  then 
discovered  that  I  was  on  the  wrong  side  of  the  bar. 
The  best  that  I  could  do  under  the  circumstances  was 
to  reach  over  the  t^  p  and  grab  the  man  spilling  the 
liquor  by  the  nap  of  the  neck  and  jam  his  face  down 
into  the  top  of  the  bar.  I  used  the  old  football  tact- 
ics of  rubbing  his  nose  into  the  bar.  He  soon  layed 
off  in  his  endeavor  to  spill  the  evidence.  In.  the 
meanwhile  a  hanger-on  had  seized  a  couple  of  bottles 
and  was  preparing  to  beat  a  tattoo  on  my  head.  As 
luck  would  have  it,  my  agent  had  floored  his  man 
by  this  time  and  rather  unceremoniously  shoved  his 
pistol  into  the  pit  of  the  stomach  of  the  man  who 
would  have  brained  me.  This  had  a  very  soothing 
affect  upon  the  entire  fracas. 

This  set-to  proved  a  good  lesson  for  me.  I 
learned  that  speed  and  being  in  the  right  place  at  the 
right  time  were  absolutely  imperative  to  successful 
raiding. 

A  tremendous  crowd  had  collected  outside  the  bar 
by  the  time  open  hostilities  had  ceased  within  and  it 
was  only  by  keeping  the  doors  locked  and  a  pistol 
plainly  visible  that  no  attempt  was  made  to  rescue 
the  prisoners.  After  what  seemed  an  hour  to  me, 
which,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  was  less  than  fifteen  min- 
utes, the  police  responded  to  our  call  for  help.  The 
prisoners  were  bundled  into  the  patrol  wagon  and 
booked  at  the  police  station  for  appearance  before 
the  United  States  Commissioner  the  next  morning. 
I  have  been  in  other  raids  on  many  occasions  which 

74 


OVER  THE  TOP 

proved  infinitely  more  exciting  than  this  one,  but  as 
I  have  already  stated,  this  is  the  one  that  I  remem- 
ber most  vividly. 

An  experience  in  a  New  Bedford  bar  room  was 
quite  exciting  and  more  or  less  amusing.  On  this 
occasion  I  was  working  with  the  local  police  under 
Chief  Dougherty,  and,  by  the  way,  it  is  a  pleasure 
to  state  that  I  always  found  the  Chief  in  New  Bed- 
ford very,  willing  to  cooperate  in  any  way.  In  my 
estimation,  he  was  one  of  the  best  in  the  state,  al- 
though New  Bedford  can  hardly  be  called  one  of  the 
Commonwealth's  dryest  cities.  The  chief,  like  many 
other  similar  officials,  has  been  handicapped  by  poli- 
tical conditions  in  the  city  over  which  he  had  no 
control.  These  conditions  can  be  rectified  anytime 
the  citizens  of  New  Bedford  awaken  to  their  re- 
sponsibility and  potential  power.  I  have  had  no  ex- 
perience with  Mayor  Remington  recently  elected,  but 
judging  froni  my  knowledge  of  his  efficiency  as  a 
City  Clerk  I  should  expect  a  genuine  impartial  law 
enforcement  under  his  administration. 

It  has  always  been  my  contention  that  the  police 
department  does  not  lead  in  the  creation  of  public 
opinion  but  is  dependent  upon  public  backing.  If 
the  mayor  or  legislative  branch  of  a  city  is  wet  or 
luke  warm  in  law  enforcement  the  chief  is  greatly 
handicapped.  Apathy  among  high  officials  means 
general  letting  down  in  all  law  enforcement. 

On  the  occasion  of  the  New  Bedford  raid  men- 
tioned above,  two  of  my  agents  had  been  working  in 
New  Bedford  for  some  two  or  three  days  unknown 
to  the  local  police,  and  some  thirteen  search  war- 
rants had  been  secured.  I  gathered  togther  a  force 
of  thirteen  agents  and  started  for  New  Bedford  at 
about  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  When  within 
a  half  hour's  journey  from  New  Bedford  I  called 
Chief  Dougherty  on  the  phone  and  told  him  that  I 
would  be  in  town  inside  of  thirty  minutes,  and 
would  need  some  fifteen  or  twenty  live-wire  police- 

7g 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

men.  When  my  automobile  pulled  into  the  police 
station  in  New  Bedford  the  Chief  with  characteris- 
tic vigor  had  mustered  his  men  and  was  ready  for 
instant  action.  One  agent  was  assigned  to  each  raid 
with  one  or  more  policemen.  Watches  were  com- 
pared and  I  issued  orders  that  the  thirteen  places 
should  be  hit  at  exactly  6.30  P.  M.  This  procedure 
is  always  necessary  when  more  than  one  raid  is  to 
be  staged,  as  the  telephone  bells  start  jingling 
throughout  a  city  or  town  the  minute  it  is  known 
that  Prohibition  agents  are  raiding.  One  of  the 
search  warrants  was  found  to  be  defective  in  that 
the  address  and  premises  were  not  properly  de- 
scribed, so  I  took  this  bar  room  myself.  The  only 
way  in  which  to  make  an  arrest  in  this  case  was  to 
make  a  purchase  and  "knock  oflE"  the  place  imme- 
diately afterwards.  I  sent  one  of  my  agents  into 
the  bar  who  had  proven  a  good  buyer,  that  is  he  had 
the  personality  and  persistence  necessary  to  convince 
the  proprietor  or  bar  tender  that  he  was  a  legitimate 
customer.  As  this  man  entered  the  bar,  I  watched 
the  interior  from  a  place  of  vantage  outside  where 
I  could  clearly  see  what  was  going  on  inside  but 
unseen  to  those  in  charge  within.  Two  policemen 
were  in  my  party,  but  they  were  left  in  an  automobile 
some  fifty  yards  from  the  bar  room  in  order  to  guard 
against  detection.  Some  twenty  or  more  hangers- 
on  were  congregated  inside.  My  agent  succeeded 
without  great  difficulty  in  getting  a  shot  (which  is 
the  term  generally  used  in  bar  rooms)  of  moonshine. 
The  minute  he  had  made  his  purchase,  I  entered  and 
jumped  over  the  top  stating  that  I  was  a  Federal  Pro- 
hibition agent.  The  proprietor  and  bar  tender  were 
immediately  placed  under  arrest.  The  hangers-on 
started  a  drive  for  my  agent  in  order  to  spill  the 
evidence.  Covering  his  glass  of  whiskey  with  one 
hand  he  drew  his  revolver  with  the  other  and  backed 
into  a  corner  near  the  lower  end  of  the  bar.  The 
gathering  around  the  agent  looked  so    threatening 

76 


i 


OVER  THE  TOP 

that  I  left  my  prisoners  and  went  to  his  assistance. 
When  the  hangers-on  had  been  ejected,  some  of 
them  with  a  reasonable  use  of  force,  as  they  were 
too  far  gone  to  navigate  very  steadily  or  very  rapid- 
ly, I  looked  for  my  prisoners.  The  proprietor  was 
nowhere  to  be  seen,  the  bar  tender,  however,  was 
still  standing  at  his  post  behind  the  bar.  He  appar- 
ently was  somewhat  dazed  at  the  rapidity  with  which 
things  had  been  happening.  As  soon  as  the  evidence 
had  been  poured  into  a  bottle  for  safe  keeping  and 
placed  in  my  pocket,  I  sent  the  agent  to  locate  the 
police,  who  were  still  apparen'^ly  slumbering  at  thevi 
post  entirely  unaware  of  the  excitement  that  had 
been  going  on  in  the  bar  room.  When  he  notified 
them  that  the  buy  had  been  made,  the  place  raided, 
the  bums  ejected,  and  the  bar  tender  placed  under  ar- 
rest, they  were  as  much  surprised  as  the  bar  tender 
had  been  at  the  rather  unusual  proceedings. 

According  to  a  ruling  of  some  federal  courts,  no 
search  can  be  made  on  a  knock-off  other  than  to 
obtain  the  retainer  from  which  the  drink  was  poured. 

I  told  the  bar  tender,  however,  that  his  place 
would  be  ransacked  from  top  to  bottom,  floors  torn 
up,  etc.,  if  he  did  not  locate  the  proprietor  in  short 
order.  Without  waiting  for  the  call  from  the  bar 
tender,  the  proprietor  suddenly  appeared  from  his 
place  of  concealment  in  a  cache  in  the  wall.  Appar- 
ently he  thought  it  wiser  to  be  arrested  than  to  have 
his  place  searched  so  forcibly.  The  moonshine  that 
my  agent  had  purchased  had  been  poured  from  a 
pint  battle,  which  was  about  half  full.  No  sign  of 
this  bottle  could  be  found  on  the  first  preliminary 
search,  but  it  was  finally  located  in  a  paper  box 
carelessly  thrown  into  a  pile  of  rubbish  under  the 
bar.  It  is  needless  to  state  that  the  officers  used  on 
this  particular  raid  were  not  listed  as  New  Bedford's 
finest. 

Raiding  with  search  warrants  is  always  interesting 
and     sometimes     extremely     exciting.     The     usual 

77 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIAMS 

method  is  to  send  an  agent  into  the  place  to  be  raid- 
ed, to  attempt  to  make  a  *'buy".  This  procedure  is 
necessary  because  of  the  close  watch  for  strangers. 
One  stranger  is  not  considered  dangerous,  but  two 
or  more  entering  the  bar  at  the  same  time  will  always 
result  in  the  dumping  of  any  liquor  that  may  be  in 
the  room  at  the  time.  The  advance  agent  saunters 
up  to  the  bar  and  nonchalently  orders  a  drink.  Be- 
ing a  stranger,  generally  the  only  drink  he  can  ob- 
tain is  harmless  near-beer,  of  less  than  -J  of  one  per- 
cent. While  the  advance  agent  is  drinking  his  near- 
beer,  as  best  he  can,  another  agent  enters  with  a 
search  warrant.  Unless  the  alarm  is  sounded,  the 
first  waits  until  his  pal  has  located  at  the  other  end 
of  the  bar,  then  both  go  over  the  top  serving  the 
warrant  as  they  go  and  grabbing  anything  in  sight 
that  looks  like  liquor.  Nine  times  out  of  ten  the 
supply  is  seized  on  the  first  rush,  if  at  all,  and  if  it 
is  not  obtained  at  that  time,  the  chance  of  securing 
any  evidence  for  a  conviction  are  rather  doubtful. 

In  many  instances  the  whiskey  is  in  a  container 
behind  the  bar  in  close  proximity  to  the  sink.  The 
water  is  generally  left  running  in  the  sink  in  order  to 
be  ready  for  any  emergency.  All  sorts  of  devices 
are  used  for  the  quick  spilling  of  the  evidence.  In 
one  case,  I  found  the  container  with  the  liquor  on  a 
board  about  four  by  twelve  inches.  The  board  was 
suspended  by  a  hinge  and  strings.  The  strings  ex- 
tended along  the  bar  and  into  the  private  office. 
The  slightest  jerk  on  the  string  from  anywhere  along 
the  bar  or  in  the  private  office  would  spill  the  liquor. 

If  the  man  planted  in  the  bar  room  prior  to  the 
service  of  the  search  warrant  makes  a  wise  guess 
as  to  where  the  liquor  is  carried,  he  goes  over  the 
top  at  the  proper  place  for  a  successful  seizure.  If 
he  guesses  wrong,  the  chances  are  no  liquor  will  be 
found.  After  the  first  dive  for  the  liquor,  the  bar 
room  is  generally  cleared   of  all  hangers-on.     The 

7S 


OVER  THE  TOP 

proprietor  and  bar  tender  are  placed  under  arrest 
and  a  systematic  search  inaugurated. 

A  typical  illustration  of  the  little  details  that  are 
the  determining  factor  in  spelling  victory  or  defeat, 
is  a  personal  experience  in  the  bar  room  of  a  Lowell 
Hotel.  I  was  working  with  one  agent  at  the  time. 
I  sent  this  man  in  to  line  up  in  front  of  the  bar  for 
a  drink,  in  front  of  the  source  of  supply  if  possible 
I  had  the  search  warrant  in  my  own  pocket.  Soon 
after  the  agent  had  entered,  I  came  in.  The  pro- 
prietor, who  happened  to  be  the  man  behind  the  bar 
at  that  time,  turned  his  eyes  almost  imperceptibly 
toward  a  certain  section  of  the  bar.  This  fleeting 
glance  was  enough  to  tell  me  that  my  agent  had  made 
a  poor  guess  and  that  he  had  lined  up  at  the  wrong  end 
of  the  bar.  Consequently  I  stepped  up  to  the  bar  be- 
tween the  proprietor  and  the  point  he  had  uncon- 
sciously given  away  as  the  source  of  supply.  As 
the  proprietof  walked  up  in  front  of  me,  I  reached 
over  the  bar,  grabbed  him  by  the  two  wrists,  and 
yanked  him  into  the  counter.  My  agent  vaulted  over 
the  top  and  made  a  dive  for  the  evidence.  Just  as 
I  had  expected  it  was  in  the  exact  spot  at  which  the 
proprietor  had  unconsciously  cast  his  eyes  on  my 
entering.  If  I  had  overlooked  this  slight  warning 
on  his  part,  and  gone  to  the  section  of  the  bar  that 
I  would  ordinarily  have  taken,  he  would  have  been 
able  to  dump  the  liquor  with  his  knees  even  if  I  did 
grab  him  by  the  wrists. 

As  previously  stated,  after  the  first  rush  for  evi- 
dence, every  nook  and  corner  is  searched.  The  walls 
and  floors  are  pounded  for  loose  boards,  the  cellar 
is  spaded  up,  piles  of  lumber  or  coal  or  anything  else 
that  might  be  used  for  covering-up  purposes  are 
moved.  The  liquor  is  sometimes  found  in  the  most 
extraordinary  places  imaginable.  Secret  pockets  in 
the  floor  and  the  walls  or  in  the  chimneys  are  com- 
mon. An  agent  who  has  taken  no  part  in  the  search 
is  sometimes  left  behind  in  the  bar  room  after  an 

79 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

unsuccessful  search  to  congratulate  and  jolly  the 
proprietor.  The  proprietor  often  times  feels  so  good 
that  he  starts  boasting  and  discloses  his  method  of 
concealment.  In  one  case  of  this  kind  the  proprietor 
called  my  men  "a  bunch  of  bone-headed,  brainless 
hootch-hounds".  My  agent  applauded  his  remarks 
so  enthusiastically  and  pleaded  so  hard  for  a  genuine 
drink  that  a  button  was  pushed  and  presto,  chango! 
the  clock  swung  out  of  place  and  a  pocket  in  the 
wall  was  exposed  containing  two  bottles  of  whiskey. 
It  is  needless  to  state  that  this  bartender  had  little 
to  say  to  the  judge  next  morning  relative  to  the  lack 
of  ability  on  the  part  of  my  men. 

Many  times  the  real  supply  is  carried  in  the  cel- 
lar, which  is  accessible  by  means  of  a  scuttle  door 
in  the  rear  of  the  bar.  A  bum,  generally  called  a 
"dog"  is  stationed  in  the  cellar.  When  the  man  up- 
stairs needs  another  bottle  it  is  passed  up  through  a 
hole  in  the  floor  by  the  aforementioned  "dog".  If  a 
raiding  party  suddenly  descends  upon  the  bar  the 
dog  downstairs  either  runs  out  the  back  door  with 
the  hootch  or  smashes  the  bottles  before  an  agent 
can  seize  them. 

This  is  a  hard  game  to  beat  and  in  some  instances 
makes  the  search  warrant  method  valueless.  The 
only  way  to  get  convictions  in  some  cases  is  by  the 
"knock-off"  method,  that  is,  the  securing  of  a  buy 
in  the  presence  of  another  agent  and  the  immediate 
arrest  of  the  man  making  the  sale. 

"Dogs"  or  "bums"  are  also  stationed  outside  the 
main  door  to  most  saloons.  These  "dogs"  are  ever 
on  the  look-out  for  prohibition  agents,  or  other  per- 
sons that  may  make  trouble  for  their  master  within 
the  bar  room. 

In  one  well-known  bar  room  in  Boston,  not  many 
weeks  ago,  I  went  over  the  top  and  down  the  stairs 
into  the  cellar  so  quick  that  "the  dog"  on  guard  was 
still  blinking  his  eyes  in  surprise  with  a  supply  of 
whiskey  squarely  ni  front  of  him.     When  I  kicked 

80 


OVER  THE  TOP 

the  stool  from  underneath  him  and  seized  the  liquor, 
he  was  still  more  surprised.  Of  course,  this  un- 
faithful dog  lost  his  job  for  fhis  failure  to  be  ever 
watchful.  He  was  discharged  forthwith  by  the 
proprietor  of  the  near-beer  emporium,  and  judging 
by  the  choice  and  voluminous  language  used  by  the 
proprietor,  this  dog  was  sure  to  lose  his  card  in  the 
watch  dog's  union. 

Another  case  which  proved  amusing,  but  might 
have  been  disastrous  is  given  as  indicative  of  the 
many  dangers  incurred  when  an  agent  jumps  over 
the  top  not  knowing  what  may  be  on  the  other  side 
of  the  bar.  In  this  particular  case,  the  man  behind 
the  bar  had  opened  the  scuttle  door  just  prior  to  my 
entry,  and  when  I  jumped  over  the  top,  he  made  a 
rush  for  the  cellar.  I  landed  squarely  on  his  back 
as  he  was  half  way  down  the  cellar  stairs.  He 
thought  the  end  of  the  world  had  come,  but  was 
much  more  frightened  than  hurt.  If  he  had  not 
been  in  the  act  of  going  downstairs  when  I  went 
over  there  is  no  telling  what  might  have  happened 
to  me. 

Nowadays,  the  average  bar  room  is  equipped  with 
a  bell  system  and  a  private  bar  in  the  rear  of  the 
main  bar  room.  Nothing  but  soft  drinks  are  sold 
at  the  main  bar.  When  the  right  "gent"  enters  the 
saloon,  a  man  who  is  well  known  in  the  drinkers' 
fraternity,  one  bell  is  rung  and  he  is  admitted  to  the 
private  bar,  where  he  gets  his  drink  and  departs  at 
will.  When  a  stranger  enters,  a  man  who  appears 
like  a  gentleman,  two  bells  are  soimded  and  everone 
sits  tight.  If  a  man  enters  who  looks  like  an  agent 
or  a  policeman  (some  policeman  are  of  course  ex- 
cepted) everything  is  dumped.  If  two  men  come 
along  the  street  who  look  like  gentlemen,  the  ever 
watchful  dog  gives  the  warning  and  if  the  men  make 
a  move  to  enter  the  bar  everything  is  dumped. 

As  a  rule,  the  ''smash  the  hootch"  signal  is  not 
given  unless  two  or  more  strange  men  enter  at  one 

81 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

time.  One  stranger  simply  means  "no  more  sales 
for  the  present".  If  he  persists  in  remaining,  he 
soon  learns  from  some  of  the  hangers-on  that  it 
would  be  much  healthier  and  safer  for  him  to  va- 
moose. 

One  way  to  beat  the  system  is  to  get  a  man  plant- 
ed in  the  inner-bar  before  staging  the  raid.  In  one 
place  in  Taunton  it  was  necessary  to  resort  to  a 
regular  system  of  fraternal-order  knocks,  in  order 
to  gain  admission.  I  do  not  mean  by  this  statement 
to  infer  that  the  signals  of  any  particular  fraternal 
order  were  used,  but  that  the  system  in  vogue  was 
fully  as  complicated. 

An  illustration  of  beating  the  ;system  is  an 
experience  in  Lowell.  The  saloon  had  the  usual  big 
bar  at  which  nothing  but  soft  drinks  were  sold.  At 
the  end  farthest  from  the  main  door  there  was  a  pri- 
vate room  in  which  the  select  followers  of  Bacchus 
were  wont  to  gather  for  their  drinks.  The  door  to 
this  room  was  always  locked  to  the  general  public. 
Off  of  this  room  was  a  smaller  one  known  as  the 
"Holy  of  Holies"  in  which  the  supply  of  whiskey 
was  kept  in  a  suitcase,  ready  for  instant  transporta- 
tion in  event  of  a  raid.  The  cellar  stair  led  out  of 
this  room  and  a  "dog"  was  always  present,  ready 
to  make  a  quick  exit  via  the  cellar. 

A  bell  system  was  established  at  the  end  of  tht: 
bar  nearest  the  door.  The  door  to  the  private  drink- 
ing room  was  never  opened  unless  the  proper  bell 
signal  was  given.  Next  to  the  main  bar  room  there 
was  a  lunch  counter,  the  proprietor  was  in  "cahoots" 
with  the  saloon  keeper  and  a  side  door  from  the 
lunch  room  led  into  the  "Holy  of  Holies"  where  the 
liquor  was  on  tap. 

Two  agents  were  placed  in  the  rear  of  the  build- 
ing to  nab  the  "dog"  if  he  tried  to  run  out  through 
the  cellar.  Two  men  were  planted  in  the  lunchroom 
with  instructions  to  smash  into  the  inner  room  the 
minute  they  noticed  me  pass  the  main  entrance  to 

82 


OVER  THE  TOP 

the  lunchroom.  I  had  two  agents  with  me.  One 
dived  over  the  bar  and  grabbed  the  bell  man  before 
he  had  time  to  give  the  bell  signal.  The  other  agent 
and  I  put  our  shoulders  through  the  two  doors  sep- 
arating us  from  the  liquor  in  about  as  much  time 
as  it  takes  to  relate  it.  The  agents  in  the  lunch 
room  smashed  in  their  door.  We  all  landed  in  the 
"Holy  of  Holies"  at  about  the  same  time.  The 
"dog'*  on  guard  was  so  confused  at  having  the  doors 
broken  down  on  all  sides  of  him  at  the  same  time 
that  he  forget  to  run  or  spill  the  evidence.  One 
whole  pint  of  whiskey  was  found  in  the  suitcase.  It 
took  seven  husky  agents  to  capture  this  pint,  yet 
some  people  persist  in  saying  that  as  much  liquor  is 
being  sold  as  ever.  This  in  the  face  of  all  the  pre- 
cautions taken  by  those  illegally  dealing  in  liquors 
to  guard  against  raiding  parties. 

Early  in  January,  1922,  on  a  Saturday  night,  as- 
sisted by  three  agents  and  several  newspapermen, 
who  proved  in  a  number  of  instances  to  be  just  as 
proficient,  ingenious  and  fearless  as  my  agents, 
thirty-three  Boston  bar  rooms  were  raided,  one  af- 
ter the  other.  A  pint  was  the  most  liquor  obtained 
at  any  place,  and  at  about  half  of  the  bar  rooms 
we  did  not  get  a  drop.  I  had  no  search  warrants, 
and  so  strategy  was  resorted  to.  In  some  cases  an  agent 
was  sent  in  to  try  and  make  a  buy,  while  another 
member  of  the  party  was  in  a  position  to  watch  the 
interior  of  the  bar  room.  If  the  **buy'''  was  secured, 
the  place  was  "knocked  off**  immediately,  and 
those  conducting  the  resort  placed  under  arrest. 
In  some  cases,  when  the  advance  agent  was  meeting 
with  no  success  in  securing  a  buy,  I  rushed  the  place 
in  company  with  an  agent  or  a  newspaper  man,  and 
made  an  official  inspection,  announcing  who  I  was. 
Of  course  I  had  no  right  to  make  a  systematic 
search,  and  did  not  attempt  to  do  so.  On  six  occa- 
sions the  inspections  resulted  in  the  bar  tender  dump- 
ing whatever  liquor  he  had  in  his  possession.     In 

88 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

more  than  half  of  the  raids,  however,  the  man  be- 
hind the  bar  made  no  move  to  spill  the  evidence 
which  was  a  pretty  good  indication  that  he  had  noth- 
ing behind  the  bar.  Unless  the  evidence  was 
dumped,  no  attention  was  paid  to  the  agent  who  had 
gone  in  in  advance  to  make  a  buy.  On  several  occa- 
sions he  made  some  remarks  to  the  proprietor  rela- 
tive to  the  presence  of  Prohibition  agents  and  re- 
ceived a  good  dressing  down  from  either  one  of  my 
agents  or  myself.  We  then  apparently  passed  out 
of  the  picture,  and  the  advance  agent  still  stayed 
with  the  bar  tender  to  plead  for  his  drink.  On  three 
such  raids  he  was  successful  in  making  a  buy  where- 
upon I  returned  and  again  annoimced  myself  but 
this  time  I  invited  the  proprietor  or  bar  tender,  or 
both  to  be  my  guests  on  a  little  ride  down  to  the 
police  station.  There  were  many  amusing  features 
to  these  raids.  I  entered  one  bar  room,  single  hand- 
ed and  found  the  lone  owner  of  the  place  standing 
disconsolately  behind  the  bar  without  a  customer. 
I  sauntered  up  to  the  bar  without  announcing  my- 
self and  inquired  as  to  how  he  foimd  business.  His 
tale  of  woe  was  quite  heartrending.  Among  other 
things  he  called  himself  a  fool  to  be  trying  to  con- 
duct an  honest  business  while  bar  rooms  all  round 
him  were  selling  hard  liquor.  He  said,  "I  am  al- 
ways out  of  luck.  No  real  trade  comes  my  way." 
I  said,  "Cheer  up,  old  man,  this  is  one  time  when 
you  are  in  luck.  I  am  Wilson,  the  Prohibition  Chief, 
and  you  will  be  able  to  spend  Sunday  with  your  folks. 
while  some  of  your  brothers  down  the  street  are  go- 
ing to  spend  their  Sunday  in  jail."  At  another  place 
in  Charlestown,  where  I  was  working  with  only  one 
agent,  with  some  twenty-five  or  thirty  hangers-on 
in  the  bar,  the  proprietor  got  rather  obstreperous  in 
his  remarks,  and  seemed  about  to  incite  a  near  riot. 
He  wi  ited  to  know  why  I  was  picking  on  him  and 
leaving  others  go  scot  free,  I  then  informed  him  that 
I  was  Wilson  and  that  he  knew  I  was  hitting  the 

Si 


k 


OVER  THE  TOP 

big  ones  as  well  as  the  little  ones.  He  said,  "That 
is  right.  I  guess  this  is  my  hard  luck  night."  He 
signalled  for  the  hangers-on  to  leave  the  bar  room. 
This  case  indicates  the  wholesome  effect  the  raid 
on  the  Quincy  House  and  some  other  large  dealers 
in  liquor  had  upon  the  smaller  fry.  No  man  likes 
to  be  detected  in  the  act  of  committing  a  crime,  and 
if  he  feels  that  he  is  the  goat  while  some  more  power- 
ful individual  is  escaping  there  is  much  more  likeli- 
hood of  trouble  than  when  he  realizes  that  the  law 
is  being  enforced  impartially. 

The  following  Saturday  night  in  company  with 
some  of  the  agents,  and  the  usual  collection  of  news- 
paper men,  for  it  was  an  impossibility  to  shake  these 
gentlemen  even  if  I  had  considered  it  wise  to  do  so, 
twenty-two  near  beer  saloons  were  raided  in  Boston. 
The  raids  of  the  previous  week,  however,  had  had 
such  a  wholesome  effect  that  all  that  was  necessary 
to  make  a  bar  room  custodian  spill  his  evidence  was 
to  drive  ijip  in  front  of  the  bar  and  rush  the  place. 
Such  tactics  are  rather  innocent  sport  and  have  a 
very  salutary  effect  on  the  traffic  in  liquor.  If  I  had 
continued  in  charge  of  the  prohibition  enforcement 
in  the  state,  it  was  my  plan  to  keep  the  denizons  of 
the  bar  rooms  constantly  guessing  by  a  continuance 
of  such  raids  at  uncertain  intervals.  If  the  bar 
room  men  ever  got  to  the  point  where  they  did  not 
dump  their  evidence  figuring  the  raids  fakes,  it 
would  have  been  possible  to  switch  any  time  to  the 
search  warrant  method,  and  thus  capture  the  goods. 
To  me,  raiding  bar  rooms  is  much  like  playing  the 
great  national  game  of  baseball.  When  the  opposi- 
tion expects  a  hit  and  run  signal  cross  them  with  a 
bunt.  When  the  proprietor  thinks  you  are  raiding 
with  a  search  warrant  and  keeps  his  liquor  confident 
that  you  will  not  dare  come  behind  the  bar,  cross 
him  by  entering  with  a  search  warrant  and  taking 
everything  in  sight  including  himself  down  to  the 
police  station  for  safe  keeping. 

85 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

HOW  THE  DRY  LAWS  CAN  BE  ENFORCED 
Chapter  VIII. 

The  first  and  most  important  step  in  making  the 
dry  laws  effective  is  the  abolition  of  the  private 
stock  supposedly  placed  there  prior  to  the  passage 
of  the  Volstead  Act.  There  is  no  justice  in  allow- 
ing a  rich  man  to  drink  in  his  home,  or  his  private 
club  while  the  poor  man  is  charged  with  being  a 
criminal  for  doing  the  same  thing.  If  anything, 
the  prohibitory  law  should  be  enforced  more  strin- 
gently from  the  top  than  from  the  bottom.  It  is 
the  worst  kind  of  hypocrisy  for  Congressmen  to 
vote  for  dry  laws,  and  insist  upon  maintaining 
private  stocks  in  their  own  cellars.  It  is  a  fair  as- 
section  that  some  of  these  men  ''Talk  for  public 
consumption,  and  drink  for  private  consumption." 

The  first  step  in  a  bone-dry  United  States  should 
be  an  amendment  to  the  Volstead  Act  giving  the 
rich  man  a  reasonable  time  in  which  to  sell  his 
private  stock  to  bona  fide  permit  holders.  At  the 
end  of  this  period,  any  private  stock  should  be  con- 
fiscated. A  great  deal  of  the  unrest  against  the 
Prohibitory  Amendment  among  the  poorer  class  is 
due  to  the  common  belief  that  every  rich  man  has 
a  choice  and  unlimited  private  stock.  The  number 
of  people  having  this  private  stock,  in  my  estima- 
tion, has  been  greatly  over-estimated,  but  I  do  not 
wonder  that  the  habitual  drinker  who  finds  his 
source  of  supply  shut  off  or  the  prices  tremendously 
increased,  complains  of  such  rank  injustice. 

The  principal  value  of  the  Quincy  House  raid 
was  the  effect  upon  the  ordinary  citizen.  Almost 
without  exception  this  class  was  pleased  at  the 
raid  because  it  demonstrated  that  the  influential 
were  subject  to  law  enforcement.  I  have  received 
communications,  hand  shakes,  and  words  of  en- 
couragement from  poor  Italians,  Polacks,  Portu- 
guese and  other  nationalities  generally  considered 
hostile  to  prohibition. 


HOW  TO  ENFORCE  DRY  LAWS 

Many  of  these  people  have  told  me  that  they  are 
willing  to  get  along  without  their  liquor  if  the 
man  higher  up  is  subject  to  the  same  regulation. 

The  second  important  step  in  genuine  law  en- 
forcement is  adequate  jail  sentences.  It  is  per- 
fectly absurd  to  expect  respect  for  any  law  unless 
the  violators  are  actually  punished.  A  bootlegger, 
in  my  estimation,  is  a  great  deal  worse  than  the 
ordinary  thief.  The  thief  steals  your  pocketbook, 
but  injures  you  in  no  other  way.  You  are  quite 
able  to  go  to  work  the  next  day  and  the  day  fol- 
lowing and  earn  whatever  has  been  lost. 

The  bootlegger  takes  a  man's  money  in  exchange 
for  rotten,  poisonous  liquor,  and  in  addition  impairs 
the  health  of  the  purchaser,  by  making,  him  drunk 
and  often  disorderly.  The  bootlegger  steals  a 
man's  money  and  by  making  him  sick,  deprives 
him  of  the  chance  to  recuperate  financially  by 
working  the  following  day.  The  man  who  has  im- 
bibed moonshine  whiskey  is  a  menace  to  life  and 
property,  \vhile  the  victim  of  the  pickpocket  is 
orderly  even  if  disconsolate.  A  bootlegger  sells  to 
a  hundred,  while  the  thief  steals  from  one.  His 
punishment  should  be  commensurate  with  his 
crime. 

After  spending  part  of  one  day  capturing  and  all 
of  another  day  convicting  a  bootlegger  he  pulled 
out  a  roll  of  bills  as  big  as  a  man's  two  fists  to  pay 
his  paltry  fine  of  $100,  and  with  the  utmost  brazen- 
ness  turned  to  me  and  said,  "Wilson,  I  do  not  mind 
this  $100  fine,  but  you  have  wasted  a  whole  day 
of  my  time  in  court."  This  bootlegger  had  the  ut- 
most contempt  for  a  law  that  would  permit  him 
to  make  several  thousand  dollars  and  pay  $100  for 
the  privilege.  He  should  have  wasted  six  months' 
of  his  time  in  jail  at  hard  labor  and  then  his  con- 
tempt for  the  constitutional  law  of  this  country 
would  have  been  considerably  less. 

Quoting  from  the  New  York  Herald,  "Enforce- 
ment is  the  poorest  where  there  are  no  state  laws, 

87 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

and  no  co-operation  between  local  and  federal  au- 
thorities, conversely,  enforcement  is  best  where 
the  local  law  enables  the  local  police  to  take  a  hand. 
The  records  indicate  the  ratio  of  one  case  taken  to 
court  by  the  federal  authorities  to  four  by  the 
state." 

This  statement  is  absolutely  true  in  Massachu- 
setts except  that  the  ratio  in  favor  of  local  court 
cases  is  greater.  Without  an  adequate  state  law 
in  Massachusetts  fully  9  out  of  every  10  cases 
handled  by  my  department  in  the  greater  Boston 
district  were  taken  before  the  state  courts. 

Under  the  Volstead  Act  the  possession  of  two 
ounces  of  intoxicating  liquor  is  sufficient  evidence 
for  a  conviction.  Under  the  Massachusetts  state 
law  a  man  may  have  an  unlimited  stock,  may 
transport  said  stock  at  his  will,  throughout  the 
state,  and  may  operate  a  first  class  distillery  to 
his  heart's  content  without  violating  the  state  law. 
The  only  way  in  which  he  can  be  apprehended  is 
for  keeping  and  exposing  for  sale.  In  spite  of  this 
lack  of  statutory  provision  it  was  my  experience 
that  more  satisfactory  results  could  be  obtained 
before  the  average  local  court  than  before  Com- 
missioner Hayes,  because  of  his  open  hostility  to 
the  Volstead  Act  and  prohibiton  agents  in  gen- 
eral. 

An  adequate  state  law  is  imperative  so  that  the 
five  thousand  or  more  local  officers  may  have  the 
same  opportunity  to  enforce  the  law  as  federal  of- 
ficers. As  this  book  goes  to  press,  steps  are  being 
taken  to  pass  a  bill  that  will  bring  the  state  law 
into  absolute  conformity  with  the  Volstead  Act. 
This  measure  should  pass  both  the  House  and  Sen- 
ate, and  will  undoubtedly  receive  the  signature  of 
the  Governor.  After  the  Quincy  House  raid  dry 
speeches  and  dry  votes  are  in  order.  Even  Charley 
Innes,  the  custodian  of  liquors  at  governors'  ban- 
quets, will  not  advise  his  friend  to  act  to  the  con- 
trary.   Undoubtedly  the  wet  interests  will  request 

88 


HOW  TO  ENFORCE  DRY  LAWS 

a  referendum  vote  so  that  the  measure  will  come 
before  the  electorate  for  ratification  or  rejection 
in  the  November  election. 

It  is  inconceivable  that  the  law-abiding  citizens 
of  this  Commonwealth  will  keep  Massachusetts  in 
the  group  of  states  (four  in  number)  which  ap- 
parently would  nulHfy  the  constitutional  law  of  the 
land,  by  failure  to  pass  laws  to  enforce  the  18th 
Amendment  to  the  Constitution.  The  South  tried 
to  nullify  the  slavery  amendment.  The  Old  Bay 
State  will  not  attempt  to  nullify  the  18th. 

The  enforcement  problem  could  be  greatly  sim- 
plified if  all  near-beer  saloons;  grocery  and  fruit 
stands  selling  soft  drinks  were  required  by  law  to 
obtain  a  license.  This  license  could  reserve  the 
right  for  police  inspection  of  the  business  premises 
at  any  time  and  require  certain  definite  regulations 
as  to  lighting,  concealment  of  illegal  traffic,  by 
shutters,  curtains,  etc.  If  it  was  possible  to  inspect 
near-beer  saloons  or  any  other  place  ostensibly 
selling  soft  drinks  at  any  time  when  open  for  busi- 
ness, it  would  be  much  easier  to  shut  off  the  sale 
of  intoxicating  liquors  in  such  places.  A  severe 
penalty  should  be  provided  for  peddling  or  hipping 
liquor  without  a  license.  The  walking  bar-room  is 
a  decided  menace,  and  drastic  steps  are  necessary 
to  control  this  nuisance.  Taking  a  nip  from  the 
bottle  produced  from  the  hip  of  a  dirty  bar-room 
hanger-on  is  so  unsanitary  and  indecent  that  only 
the  lowest  habitats  of  the  lower  world  will  resort 
to  such  practices. 

A  reasonable  reward  for  securing  evidence  would 
greatly  facilitate  the  operations  of  the  police  and 
prohibition  department.  This  money  would  not  be 
a  drain  upon  the  public  treasury  as  convictions 
not  only  bring  in  a  reasonable  amount  of  money 
in  fines,  but  revenue  from  taxes.  This  money 
should  not  be  given  as  a  reward,  but  rather  as 
pay  for  the  inconvenience  and  time  expended  in 
securing  evidence. 

S9 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

Our  present  system  of  securing  federal  search 
warrants,  is  absolutely  antiquated.  It  ought  to  be 
possible  to  obtain  a  warrant  at  any  hour  of  the 
day  or  night.  It  should  be  possible  to  secure  such 
a  warrant  in  Brockton  for  Brockton  violations. 
Under  the  present  system  a  Brockton  citizen  or  any 
other  law  abiding  person  within  25  miles  of  Bos- 
ton has  to  come  before  the  United  States  Commis- 
sioner in  Boston  in  order  to  obtain  a  federal  search 
warrant.  An  affidavit  sworn  out  before  a  proper 
notary  by  one  or  more  reputable  citizens  and  de- 
livered to  a  prohibition  agent  for  presentation  to  the 
U.  S.  Commissioner  ought  to  be  sufficient  evidence 
upon  which  to  issue  a  search  warrant.  Under  pres- 
ent conditions  no  search  warrant  will  be  issued  un- 
less the  interested  citizen  is  willing  to  come  before 
the  United  States  Commissioner  in  Boston  and  per- 
sonally make  an  affidavit.  Many  citizens  because  of. 
their  business  interests  cannot  come  to  Boston  in 
the  middle  of  the  day,  consequently  their  evidence 
is  useless.  Commissioner  Hayes  would  not  see  the 
President  after  hours. 

It  is  safe  to  assert  that  two-thirds  of  the  worst 
liquor  violations  occur  in  the  evening  or  late  at 
night;  yet  in  Boston,  when  United  States  Commis- 
sioner Hayes  is  sitting,  it  is  impossible  to  secure  a 
search  warrant  after  three  or  four  o'clock  in  the 
afternoon,  and  from  Saturday  noon  until  Monday 
noon  no  warrant  can  be  obtained  under  any  con- 
ditions. 

The  search  warrant  for  the  Quincy  House  ban- 
quet never  could  have  been  secured  if  Commis- 
sioner Hayes  had  been  sitting.  Time  and  time 
again  during  my  regime  as  Prohibition  Chief  I 
uncovered  liquor  violations  but  was  unable  to 
secure  a  warrant  because  the  Commissioner's 
office  had  closed.  The  next  day  was  too  late. 
Some  dives  at  the  beaches  near  Boston  ran  wide 
open  in  the  summer  of  1921,  because  no  warrant 
could  be  obtained  to  search  after  dark. 

90 


HOW  TO  ENFORCE  DRY  LAWS 

Cabarets  sell  liquor  late  at  night,  and  at  no  other 
time,  consequently  with  a  Commissioner  refusing 
to  issue  night  warrants  such  places  are  fully  pro- 
tected unless  the  prohibition  department  is  fortu- 
nate enough  to  secure  buys  in  the  presence  of  suffi- 
cient agents  to  knock  off  a  place  at  the  time  of 
the  purchase.  This  is  a  very  dangerous  proposi- 
tion, because  it  is  impossible  to  stage  a  buy  with 
a  reasonable  force  of  agents  present.  When  two 
agents  tackle  a  road  house  single  handed  some 
one  is  apt  to  get  hurt. 

It  would  be  helpful  and  logical  if  slops  could 
be  considered  as  evidence.  By  slops  I  mean  liquor 
dumped  into  a  pail  of  water  or  other  receptable 
before  the  raiding  party  can  secure  it.  Slops  that 
actually  proofed  from  five  to  ten  per  cent  alcohol 
have  been  brought  into  court  and  thrown  out  on 
the  ground  that  the  court  would  not  consider  swill 
as  evidence.  When  the  proprietor  or  the  bar  tender 
breaks  the  bottle  containing  the  evidence  in  the 
presence  of  two  or  more  officers  who  are  able  to 
testify  in  court  that  by  the  odor  they  are  posi- 
tive intoxicating  liquor  was  destroyed  in  their 
presence,  it  ought  to  be  possible  to  obtain  a  con- 
viction. It  is  farcical  to  assume  that  the  proprietor 
or  bar  tender  would  rush  behind  the  bar  and  break 
a  bottle  of  moxie  or  some  other  non-intoxicating 
liquor. 

Another  handicap  of  law  enforcement  which 
could  be  largely  rectified  by  a  little  more  devotion 
to  duty  on  the  part  of  the  judges  and  a  little  less 
"kowtowing"  to  the  so-called  ethics  of  the  legal 
profession  is  the  frequent  continuing  of  cases. 
Fully  half  the  time  of  prohibition  agents  is  tied  up 
in  useless  court  dilly  dallying.  Some  lawyers  seem 
to  collect  from  clients  on  the  basis  of  the  number 
of  times  cases  are  continued,  and  it  is  needless  to 
state  that  under  such  circumstances  continuances 
are  frequent. 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

This  baiting  of  clients  is  a  disgrace  to  the  pro- 
fession, but  is  brazenly  practiced  by  some  attorneys 
who  have  the  most  to  say  about  legal  ethics.  The 
ends  of  justice  might  better  be  served  if  some  at- 
torneys would  cut  out  their  soft-sob  prattle  rela- 
tive to  the  poverty  of  their  clients.  I  have  taken 
bootlegger  after  bootlegger  into  court  who  had 
made  thousands  of  dollars  at  his  nefarious  trade 
only  to  have  some  attorney  literally  weep  before 
the  judge,  stating  that  this  poor  man  had  eight  to 
ten  children  and  that  any  fine  would  be  a  mis- 
carriage of  justice.  If  the  attorney  succeeded  in 
splitting  the  fine  it  was  so  much  velvet  in  his  own 
pocket;  the  client  never  benefited.  Such  lawyers 
ought  to  announce  that  their  services  were  free 
and  then  their  charity  pleas  would  carry  more 
weight. 

After  a  few  months  in  the  front  line  trenches  it  is 
easy  to  believe  that  Uncle  Sam  pays  one  depart- 
ment for  securing  evidence  for  convictions  and  an- 
other department  for  discharging  the  culprits.  One 
of  the  worst  cases  that  comes  to  my  mind  is  that  of 
John  Chumura,  a  Springfield  baker,  who  was 
brought  before  United  States  Commissioner  John 
L.  Rice  some  fourteen  months  ago  for  the  illegal 
distribution  of  liquor. 

Two  Springfield  policemen  and  two  agents  tes- 
tified against  this  man,  and  it  is  creditably  reported 
that  his  own  admissions  to  the  United  States  Com- 
missioner were  sufficient  to  hold  him  for  the  Grand 
Jury.  Fourteen  months  later  the  case  was  thrown 
out  of  court  by  Judge  Anderson  on  the  ground,  I 
am  told,  of  a  defective  search  warrant.  The  search 
warrant,  according  to  my  information,  never  left 
the  office  of  the  United  States  Commissioner  in 
Springfield,  and  none  of  the  four  witnesses  in  the 
case  were  ever  called  before  Judge  Anderson. 

More  actual  co-operation  between  the  evidence 
securing  department,  the  prosecuting  department 
and  the  judicial  department  would  greatly  facili- 

92 


HOW  TO  ENFORCE  DRY  LAWS 

tate  enforcement  of  the  Volstead  Act.  The  Gov- 
ernment has  never  seen  fit  to  appropriate  sufficient 
money  for  any  of  these  departments,  and  it  has 
always  been  my  contention  that  any  time  that 
Congress  really  wanted  to  make  this  nation  bone 
dry  the  Volstead  Act  could  be  enforced  as  well  as 
a  majority  of  our  national  laws. 

The  cost  of  prohibiton  enforcement  is  not  so 
heavy  as  some  would  have  us  believe,  and  as  a  mat- 
ter of  fact  the  Government  could  have  appropriated 
twenty  million  for  the  past  year  instead  of  seven 
and  one  half  millions  with  very  little  additional  ex- 
pense. According  to  figures  from  the  New  York 
Herald  the  appraised  value  of  property  seized  but 
not  destroyed  by  the  prohibition  department  during 
the  past  year  was  eleven  million  dollars. 

Another  two  and  one  half  millions,  according  to 
the  same  paper,  was  the  net  return  from  fines. 
The  income  from  double  taxes  and  additional  pen- 
alties under  section  35  of  the  prohibition  act  show 
assessments  of  fifty-four  million  dollars. 

I  am  sorry  to  state  with  the  present  system  of 
fines  only  a  small  percentage  of  this  fifty-four  mil- 
lion has  been  actually  collected.  The  man  with 
sufficient  money  to  finance  the  building  and  opera- 
tion of  a  still  (and  some  plants  that  I  have  de- 
stroyed represented  an  outlay  of  several  thousand 
dollars)  employs  some  derelict  to  run  the  still. 
When  the  still  and  the  derelict  are  captured  the 
financier  immediately  furnishes  bail,  pays  for  a 
first  class  attorney  and  the  fines  imposed  by  the 
court.  The  derelict  has  no  property,  consequently 
no  taxes  can  be  collected.  As  soon  as  the  courts  are 
ready  to  impose  a  jail  sentence  the  man  higher  up 
will  find  it  impossible  to  hire  men  to  go  to  jail  for 
him.  The  hired  distiller  will  turn  state's  evidence, 
and  it  will  be  possible  to  collect  100  per  cent  on 
taxes. 

Some  surprisingly  influential  men  are  mixed  up 
in  the  booze  traffic  in  Boston,  and  with  a  stiffening 

9t 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

in  the  court  sentences  it  will  be  possible  to  either 
catch  these  men  or  drive  them  out  of  the  busi- 
ness. There  is  a  rum  clique  on  State  Street,  Bos- 
ton, that  is  carrying  on  under  present  conditions 
with  almost  absolute  safety.  It  is  this  crowd  that 
is  making  a  farce  out  of  many  court  cases,  and  is 
even  trying  to  dictate  in  the  selection  of  agents. 

Prohibition  officers  who  could  act  as  secret  ser- 
vice men  would  be  of  tremendous  advantage  to  law 
enforcement.  The  few  agents  assigned  to  any 
state  department  are  soon  listed  by  the  bootleg- 
gers, so  that  their  value  as  securers  of  evidence 
is  greatly  impaired.  Every  scheme  was  employed 
during  my  experience  as  Prohibition  Chief  to  learn 
the  names  and  personal  appearance  of  my  agents. 
Bootleggers  used  to  call  at  the  office  with  phony 
information  for  no  other  reason  than  to  look  over 
the  personnel.  Many  telephone  calls  were  received- 
relative  to  illegal  traffic  at  some  particular  point, 
when  agents  were  rushed  to  this  place,  nothing  was 
found  except  a  number  of  bootleggers. 

I  was  able  to  keep  my  men  fairly  well  protected, 
however,  except  for  court  cases.  Whenever  an 
agent  appeared  in  court,  the  bootlegger's  attorney 
took  particular  care  to  find  out  everything  possible 
about  the  agent,  including  his  home  address.  This 
information  was  passed  from  city  to  city.  A  num- 
ber of  secret  service  men  would  have  been  of  in- 
estimable value. 

The  method  of  appointing  agents  in  vogue  while 
I  was  on  the  job  was  so  cumbersome,  and  the  ap- 
plications passed  through  so  many  hands,  that  most 
of  my  appointees  were  well  known  to  most  of  the 
liquor  traffic  prior  to  their  appointment. 

I  have  felt  for  some  time  that  a  New  England 
Society  for  the  enforcement  of  prohibition,  com- 
posed of  law  abiding  citizens  who  actually  wanted 
to  see  the  prohibitory  law  given  a  fair  trial,  would 
be  of  tremendous  value  to  the  prohibition  depart- 
ments in  the  various  New  England  States.     Such 

94 


HOW  TO  ENFORCE  DRY  LAWS 

a  society  could  accomplish  much  because  it  would 
be  unhampered  by  Federal  red  tape,  bureaucratic 
limitations  and  other  Federal  restrictions.  Much 
of  the  rum  running  is  interstate  traffic,  consequent- 
ly such  a  society  should  embrace  all  of  New  Eng- 
land and  eventually  the  entire  U.  S.  A. 

New  England  has  always  stood  as  a  bulwark 
for  law  and  order,  and  the  great  mass  of  people  who 
actually  believe  in  genuine  impartial  law  enforce- 
ment must  serve  notice  on  the  rum-runner,  the 
bootlegger,  the  illicit  still  operator,  and  the  liquor 
criminals,  "Ye  shall  not  pass." 

I  am  tremendously  optimistic  as  to  the  ultimate 
triumph  of  prohibition  law  enforcement.  Every 
month  makes  enforcement  so  much  easier,  for  it 
marks  the  death  of  so  many  more  habitual  drinkers, 
and  with  the  saloon  gone  the  liquor  trade  has 
no  recruiting  ground. 

Eliminate  the  hypocrisy  of  the  private  cellar 
stock  and  its  attending  unrest,  impose  jail  sen- 
tences instead  of  picayune  fines,  adopt  a  state  law 
in  Massachusetts  with  a  kick  like  the  famous 
"White  Horse"  whiskey,  license  the  retailers  of  soft 
drinks,  modernize  the  securing  of  search  warrants 
and  some  of  our  antiquated  custom  bound  court 
procedure  and  establish  a  reasonable  secret  ser- 
vice in  connection  with  the  prohibition  department 
and  the  prohibitory  law  can  be  enforced. 

My  answer  to  the  title  of  this  chapter,  "How 
the  Dry  Laws  Can  Be  Enforced,"  is  by  persistent, 
pitiless,  publicity  relative  to  the  true  situation.  If 
the  readers  of  this  book  will  satisfy  themselves 
as  to  the  truth  of  my  statements  regarding  prohi- 
bition law  enforcement  and  then  go  forth  and  pro- 
claim the  facts  the  liquor  serpent  will  take  to  cover 
before  the  first  echo  from  the  united  voice  of  the 
Dry  Forces  can  return. 


U 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

WET  POLITICIANS'  WET  RECORDS 
Chapter  IX. 

In  analyzing  the  handicaps  to  complete  and  effec- 
tive prohibition  enforcement,  we  must  place  politics 
at  the  head  of  the  list.  Politicians — ^and  in  Massa- 
chusetts we  have  a  fine  array  of  those  whose  politi- 
cal records  reek  with  the  odors  of  rum  and  bar-floor 
sawdust — are  the  gadflies  of  the  dry  idealist.  Pro- 
hibition offices  are  the  honey-syrup  that  draws  them 
in  droves  to  the  feast;  they  would  like  to  pack  the 
force  of  dry  agents  with  their  friends  and  constitu- 
ents. When  the  Republican  party  came  into  power 
last  spring  almost  every  Congressman  in  Massachu- 
setts had  a  flock  of  friends  slated  for  prohibition 
jobs  whose  chief  qualification  for  the  position  was 
their  proficiency  as  political  door  bell  ringers. 

Among  the  professional  politicians  prohibition  is 
a  plaything.  They  do  not  take  the  problems  of  en- 
forcement seriously;  they  have  been  niggardly  in 
their  appropriations  for  dry  enforcement  but  are  on 
the  job  every  moment  when  it  comes  to  picking  the 
choice,  meaty  scraps  out  of  the  pork  barrel.  They 
are  playing  football  with  a  great  moral  issue  and  a 
section  of  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  of 
America.  Would  the  great  American  public  toler- 
ate for  a  moment  partisan  trading  and  loose  parley- 
ing over  the  laws  relating  to  theft  or  burglary? 
Why,  then,  will  the  public  permit  prohibition  to  be 
made  the  political  football,  kicked  and  tossed  and 
fumbled  on  a  surface  muddied  by  the  flood  from  the 
bootleggers'  reservoir?  It  is  time  the  public  served 
notice  on  the  politicians,  by  an  affirmative  position  at 
the  voting  booth,  that  they  cannot  publicly  deride 
and  toss  into  the  discard  laws  adopted  under  the 
provisions  laid  down  by  the  fathers  of  our  country. 

Fortune,  perhaps,  decreed  that  the  Republican 
Party  was  to  be  the  first  to  give  prohibition  a  set- 
back, by  opening  the  ranks  of  the  dry  enforcement 

96 


WET  POLITICIANS*  WET  RECORDS 

army  to  the  destructive  operation  of  the  spoils  sys- 
tem. The  Eighteenth  Amendment  became  eflFective 
on  January  16,  1920,  while  a  Democratic  Adminis- 
tration was  in  power. 

To  that  Administration  fell  the  lot  of  creating  the 
enforcement  organization  throughout  the  Nation. 

This  was  a  task  of  enormous  proportions.  It  was 
necessary  to  build  up  an  organization  to  meet  con- 
ditions then  not  wholly  clear.  The  work  was  highly 
technical  and  so  involved  that  it  required  many 
weeks  experience  on  the  job  for  an  enforcement 
agent  to  feel  that  he  was  beginning  to  understt*nd  his 
task.  Here  in  New  England,  the  Government  ap- 
pointed as  an  enforcement  agent,  a  man  with  years 
of  experience  in  investigating  liquor  affairs  for  the 
Revenue  Department.  This  man,  and  his  co-work- 
ers in  the  offices  of  prohibition  director  for  the  sev- 
eral States,  remained  on  the  job  less  than  18  months 
when  they  were  turned  out  to  make  way  for  new 
appointees.^ 

The  Republican  party  was  swept  into  power  on 
the  great  tidal  wave  of  1920.  The  hordes  of  poli- 
tical hangers-on  looked  with  covetous  eyes  oi  the 
hundreds  of  posts  then  filled  by  men  who  had  no 
claims  to  favor  at  the  hands  of  the  ruling  party.  The 
great  prohibition  enforcement  machine  was  dis- 
mantled and  overhauled  in  the  G.  O.  P.  machine- 
shop  and  came  out  with  a  new  coat  of  paint  adminis- 
tered by  the  hands  of  Lodge,  Winslow,  Tinkham, 
Innes  and  their  confrers. 

Even  this  did  not  satisfy  the  politicians.  Under 
the  enforcement  scheme  launched  by  the  Democratic 
Administration  there  were  too  few  plums  on  the 
political  tree.  New  England,  for  example,  had  a 
single  chief  enforcement  agent,  with  prohibition  di- 
rectors in  charge  of  the  permit  awards  in  each  State. 
The  entire  department  was  reorganized  so  that  in 
each  State  there  was  both  a  director  and  a  chief  en- 
forcement agent  to  be  appointed  from  among  the 

97 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

ranks  of  the  faithful  Republican  workers  at  the  polls. 

In  Massachusetts  Senator  Henry  Cabot  Lodge  was 
the  Czar  and  dictator.  The  chairman  of  the  Senate 
Foreign  Relations  Committee  did  not  lose  touch  with 
the  domestic  relations  of  Massachusetts  realizing 
that  he  would  need  the  support  of  the  dry  enthusiasts 
of  Massachusetts  when  he  should  come  up  for  re- 
election in  the  Fall  of  1922,  he  amiably  patronized 
the  Anti-Saloon  League  of  Massachusetts  by  inviting 
them  to  suggest  men  for  the  jobs.  The  Anti-Saloon 
League  was  of  course  limited  in  some  respects;  it 
must  pick  men  with  a  Republican  label,  and  it  must 
pick  them  from  such  widely  separated  districts  of 
the  State  that  these  political  plums  along  with  others 
to  be  distributed  would  be  widely  scattered  through- 
out the  Bay  Sate  and  all  local  factions  satisfied. 
When  the  Anti-Saloon  League,  with  the  backing  of. 
the  church  forces,  chanced  to  name  as  enforcement 
agent  a  man  who  was  determined  to  enforce  the  law 
from  the  top  to  the  bottom — against  the  politicians 
as  well  as  against  the  poor,  ignorant  foreigner — Mr. 
Lodge  could  not  stand  the  pressure — such  an  amaz- 
ing lack  of  discretion  was  unbearable.  He  deserted 
Wilson  and  tossed  the  standard  of  law-enforcement 
into  the  gutter.  When  he  foresaw  the  protest  of 
public  opinion  from  Massachusetts,  he  attempted  to 
meet  it  by  throwing  responsibility  back  to  the  Anti- 
Saloon  League  and  inviting  them  to  name  Wilson's 
successor. 

This  is  what  the  public  has  to  endure  from  a 
"statesman"  who  never  gained  any  happiness  in 
voting  for  a  dry  measure  except  when  he  could  help 
pass  the  Volstead  Act  over  the  veto  of  his  arch- 
enemy and  political  victim,  Woodrow  Wilson. 

Let  us  examine  his  record  on  prohibition  meas- 
ures. It  is  dryer  than  those  of  Tinkham,  Gallivan 
and  Tague  only  by  the  measure  of  Mr.  Lodge's 
shrewder  political  sagacity. 

The  Hon.  Henry  Cabot  Lodge  voted  for  the  Anti- 

98 


WET  POLITICIANS'  WET  RECORDS 

Canteen  law  which  shut  off  the  flow  of  liquor  in 
army  canteens  but  somewhat  later,  to  be  specific, 
January  9,  1917,  he  voted  against  prohibition  for  the 
District  of  Columbia.  In  other  words,  the  Senator 
favored  arid  conditions  for  soldiers  but  could  not 
stand  for  any  degree  of  dryness  in  Washington 
which  is  his  domicile  a  greater  part  of  the  time. 

In  July,  1917,  he  voted  for  the  Prohibition  Food 
Control  Bill  but  not  until  after  it  had  been  badly 
mutilated  by  amendments  which  he  favored.  He  not 
only  voted  against  the  National  Prohibition  Resolu- 
tion in  1917  but  tried  to  handicap  its  effectiveness  by 
favorable  votes  on  amendments  designed  to  make  its 
final  adoption  less  likely. 

The  reservations  in  the  League  of  Nations  Coven- 
ant which  he  fought  for  are  no  greater  than  the 
reservations  he  tried  to  put  into  the  dry  laws.  Sen- 
ator Lodge  has  repeatedly  opposed  prohibition  in 
public  speeches.  He  was  also  very  strenuous  in  his 
opposition  to  the  Nineteenth  Amendment  (Equal 
Suffrage),  which  is  bound  to  be  an  important  factor 
in  the  popularization  of  the  Eighteenth  Amendment. 
His  powerful  political  influence  has  been,  is,  and 
probably  always  will  be,  exerted  against  prohibition 
in  any  form. 

Although  he  finally  voted  for  the  Volstead  Act,  it 
has  been  said  that  he  did  so  with  the  reservation  that 
since  President  Woodrow  Wilson  vetoed  the  Act, 
Wilson,  of  course,  was  wrong,  and  consequently  he 
could  conscientiously  vote  for  the  measure.  He  is 
also  reported  to  have  said  when  he  voted  for  the 
Volstead  Act,  that  he  had  always  opposed  constitu- 
tional prohibition  and  did  not  believe  the  amendment 
should  have  been  put  into  the  Constitution. 

His  attitude  relative  to  voting  for  the  Volstead 
Act,  because  Woodrow  Wilson  vetoed  it,  is  in  keep- 
ing with  his  numerous  about-faces  on  the  League  of 
Nations.  Prior  to  the  advent  of  Wilsonianism,  he 
is  recorded  as  favoring  a  League  of  Nations.  Presi- 
de 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

dent  Wilson  helped  frame  such  a  League,  and  then 
Senator  Lodge  vehemently  opposed  it. 

President  Wilson  passed  out  of  the  picture  through 
defeat  and  Senator  Lodge  turned  an  about  face  and 
was  a  leader  in  the  disarmament  conference,  which 
(has  adopted  many  features  of  the  League  of  Nations. 

The  following  statement  from  the  New  York 
Times  is  indicative  of  the  opinion  some  living  outside 
of  Massachusetts  have  of  our  senior  Senator: 

"By  the  merest  accident  of  government,  Henry 
Cabot  Lodge  was  enabled  to  defeat  the  altruistic 
dream,  the  very  pinnacle  of  world  idealism,  when  he 
killed  the  League  of  Nations.  It  is  an  unfortunate 
incident  and  a  serious  commentary  on  government 
that  one  man,  renowned  chiefly  for  his  political 
astuteness  and  acumen  could  undo  the  great  efforts 
of  the  finest  minds  in  the  universe. 

The  New  York  Times  querously  asks  if  any  man 
since  the  dawn  of  history  has  ever  done  so  much 
'harm.  We  are  inclined  to  concede  that  not  even 
Nero  or  any  of  his  followers  in  disaster  and  world 
catastrophes  were  anything  like  the  peers  of  the 
aforesaid  Lodge,  whose  re-election  will  cast  a  reflec- 
tion and  a  blot  on  the  escutcheon  of  the  Common- 
wealth of  Massachusetts  not  easily  eradicated." 

Congressman  Samuel  E.  Winslow  of  the  fourth 
Massachusetts  District  is  reported  to  be  the  closest 
to  Senator  Lodge  of  any  of  the  Massachusetts  Dele- 
gation. He  dictated  the  appointment  of  Mr.  Elmer 
C.  Potter,  the  present  state  director,  and  has  been  the 
man  who  has  demanded  and  succeeded  in  keeping 
him  on  the  job. 

Congressman  Winslow  makes  an  excellent  nmning 
mate  for  the  Senior  Senator  as  he,  too,  has  been 
consistently  inconsistent.  He  favored  booze  for 
Washington  but  not  for  the  defenders  of  our  country 
during  the  world  war.  He  voted  against  the  Hobson 
Resoution  for  National  Prohibition ;  he  failed  to  vote 
on  the  Alaskan  Prohibition  Bill.     He  voted  "yes"  on 

100 


WET  POLITICIANS'  WET  RECORDS 

the  Jones-Randall  anti-advertising  and  bone  dry 
laws,  after  the  adoption  of  some  amendments.  He 
voted  *'no"  on  the  Sheppard-Barkley  District  of 
Columbia  prohibition  bill;  "no"  on  the  National 
Prohibition  Resolution;  "yes"  on  the  passage  of  the 
Enforcement  code,  known  as  the  Volstead  Act,  but 
"no"  on  passing  the  measure  over  the  President's 
Veto. 

The  "drys"  in  the  fourth  congressional  district 
can  get  little  nourishment  from  the  above  record, 
especially  when  the  wet  affiliations  of  some  of  the 
Congressman's  closest  political  allies  in  Worcester 
and  Milford  are  analyzed. 

It  is  hardly  necessary  to  present  the  record  of  the 
Hon.  George  Holden  Tinkham,  Congressman  from 
the  11th  district  who  is  said  to  openly  boast  that 
his  record  is  100%  alcoholic.  Apparently  the  only 
times  that  he  has  failed  to  vote  against  Prohibition 
measures  have  been  during  his  absence  from 
Washington  which  is  said  to  be  more  frequent  than 
congressional  duties  ordinarily  warrant. 

An  analysis  of  the  Prohibition  department  heads 
in  Washington  is  not  particularly  reassuring.  Major 
Roy  A.  Haynes  appears  to  be  100%  for  prohibition 
enforcement  and  his  consistently  dry  record  in  Ohio 
adds  weight  to  his  repeated  assertions  that  he  is 
doing  his  best  to  enforce  the  prohibitory  laws.  He 
is  not  the  generalissimo  in  prohibition  enforcement, 
however,  as  many  believe,  and  labors  under  many 
handicaps  not  the  least  of  which  is  his  immediate 
superior,  David  H.  Blair,  Commissioner  of  Internal 
Revenue,  who,  in  turn,  kow  tows  to  the  Secretary  of 
the  Treasury,  Andrew  Mellon.  Secretary  Mellon 
can  hardly  be  listed  as  bone  dry,  or  even  passably 
dry.  His  alleged  large  holdings  in  Whiskey  certifi- 
cates are  not  a  particularly  happy  coincidence  in  view 
of  the  fact  that  he  is  the  titular  head  of  prohibition 
enforcement  in  the  nation.  He  has  never  been  in 
a  position  to  cast  a  public  vote  for  or  against  prohi- 

101 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

bition,  but  his  private  business  affairs  relative  to  the 
liquor  traffic  are  interesting. 

Mr.  Mellon,  with  the  estate  of  Henry  C.  Frick,  was 
a  joint  owner  of  the  Distillery  at  Broad  Ford, 
Westmoreland  County,  of  A.  Overbold  &  Co.,  which 
was  founded  in  1810  by  Frick's  grandfather,  whose 
great  success  was  the  boyhood  incentive  of  the  coke 
king.  In  the  bonded  warehouses  of  this  distillery 
there  were,  in  February,  1921,  1,500,000  gallons  of 
whiskey,  probably  valued  at  $18,000,000  to  $20,- 
000,000. 

Mr.  Mellon  came  into  a  one-third  ownership  of  the 
Overbold  plant  years  ago  through  the  fact  that  Mr. 
Frick,  who  had  married  a  granddaughter  of  Abram 
Overbold  and  inherited  an  interest  in  the  distillery, 
had  borrowed  some  $20,000  from  Judge  Thomas  W. 
Mellon,  father  of  the  Secretary,  for  his  first  business 
venture,  suggested  to  Andrew  Mellon,  on  settlemenc 
of  the  estate,  that  he  take  over  a  third  interest  in 
the  distillery. 

With  the  advent  of  prohibition  the  company  went 
into  liquidation,  and  what  remained  was  turned  over 
to  the  Union  Trust  Company  of  Pittsburg.  Mr. 
Mellon,  it  is  said,  never  had  a  personal  part  in  the 
distillery  affairs  and  for  years  aimed  to  get  rid  of 
his  stock,  claiming  there  was  no  profit  during  the 
war  on  account  of  high  costs  of  grain.* 

Mr.  Mellon,  however,  is  said  to  have  admitted  to  a 
Boston  Sunday  Post  reporter,  that  he  had  never  been 
in  favor  of  the  Constitutional  amendment,  though 
heartily  in  favor  of  more  rigid  curtailment  or  super- 
vision of  the  liquor  traffic.  A  constitutional  pro- 
vision, he  said,  was  an  extreme  step  in  that  it  at- 
tempted to  control  private  and  personal  conduct  of 
the  citizen  and  must  fail  on  account  of  its  very 
extremity. 

With  his  reputed  large  holdings  in  whiskey  cer- 
tificates, and  his  frank  admission  that  he  does  not 
favor  the  prohibitory  amendments  how  can  the  pub- 

102 


WET  POLITICIANS'  WET  RECORDS 

lie  expect  firm  and  aggressive  enforcement  of  the 
prohibitory   laws? 

Commissioner  Blair  is  pictured  by  some  as  a  weak 
sister  a  mere  mouth-piece  for  the  Secretary.  A  man 
who  does  exactly  as  he  is  told,  no  more,  no  less. 
When  Federal  Prohibition  Commissioner  Haynes 
tried  to  hold  back  the  drive  of  the  wets  to  release 
large  quantities  of  beer,  just  prior  to  the  passage 
of  the  anti-beer  bill  in  November,  1921,  Commission- 
er Blair,  and  Secretary  Mellon  overruled  him  and 
opened  wide  the  sluiceways.  Thousands  of  gallons 
of  beer  were  rushed  out  of  storage  during  the  last 
stages  of  the  passage  of  the  anti-beer  bill  when 
it  was  known  by  all  that  it  was  only  a  matter  of  time 
when  the  bill  would  pass  and  receive  the  President's 
O.  K.  The  beer  interests  must  have  had  some  pow- 
erful friend  in  court. 

As  a  matter  of  practice,  Blair  is  the  button-pusher 
in  the  Mellon  Hotel,  and  Haynes  is  Blair's  bell-boy. 
Blair  is  an  i^k-spreader  who  is  willing  to  take  the 
blame  off  the  shoulders  of  the  politicians  for  the 
sake  of  his  ten  thousand  a  year  or  so.  In  every 
well-regulated  establishment  there  is  a  buffer  to  take 
up  and  absorb  the  shocks  from  the  bumpers.  Com- 
missioner Blair  is  the  buffer  of  the  Revenue 
Department. 

When  I  was  removed  he  issued  a  statement  in 
which  he  assumed  full  responsibility.  But  in  view 
of  the  Quincy  House  Raid,  people  paid  more  atten- 
tion to  Lodge's  silence  than  to  Blair's  forensic  on 
the  "Whyness  of  Nothing.]" 

In  view  of  the  attitude  of  Secretary  Mellon  and 
Commissioner  Blair  it  is  not  at  all  strange  that  when 
Senator  Lodge  or  some  of  his  emissaries  such  as 
Winslow,  Tinkham  and  Innes  demanded  my  dis- 
charge that  they  acquiesced  with  characteristic 
Washingtonian  camouflage.  Commissioner  Blair 
the  independent,  the  courageous,  the  extremely  dry 
federal  office  holder,  manfully  took  all  the  blame  for 

103 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

my  dismissal.  Such  time-worn  political  bunkum 
may  still  be  effective  in  the  south,  Commissioner 
Blair's  native  land,  but  will  hardly  do  in  the  cultured 
and  politically  wise  north  east.  The  fact  that  the 
Senior  Senator  from  Massachusetts,  Hon.  Henry 
Cabot  Lodge,  permitted  Commissioner  Blair  to  ad- 
vance such  a  superficial,  ill-conceived  and  easily  re- 
futed excuse  is  taken  by  many  shrewd  political  ob- 
servers as  excellent  proof  that  the  Senator  is  losing 
his  grip  on  the  political  situation  in  Massachusetts. 
He  has  long  underestimated  the  intelligence  of  his 
constituents  in  the  Old  Bay  State.  The  reaction 
from  such  a  sublime  and  peaceful,  even  if  precarious, 
state  of  mind  is  apt  to  be  as  sudden  and  as  discon- 
certing as  the  kick  from  the  famous  White  Horse 
whiskey  of  Quincy  House  fame. 


104 


OUTWITTING  THE  BOOTLEGGER 

RUM  RUNNING,  OR  THE  THRILLS  OF  OUT- 
WITTING THE  BOOTLEGGER 
Chapter  X. 

Gunning  for  the  rum-runner  is  always  exciting 
and  can  hardly  be  placed  in  the  same  class  with 
tiddley-winks.  The  rum-runner  is  a  different  type 
from  the  walking  bar-room  or  the  manufacturer 
and  vendor  of  moonshine.  He  generally  operates 
in  a  high-priced  car  and  carries  a  stock  of  con- 
siderable value.  Consequently,  he  will  fight  harder 
and  use  more  ingenuity  in  preventing  capture.  He 
sells  his  stock  in  most  instances  to  the  so-called 
high-class  trade,  such  as  the  wealthy  man  who 
wishes  to  replenish  his  pre- Volstead  cellar  stock, 
the  steward  of  the  private  club,  or  to  the  State- 
Street  broker,  who  acts  as  middle-man  in  the  dis- 
tribution. 

A  pet  scheme  of  at  least  one  bootlegging  ring 
is  to  sell  highVgrade  stuff  in  case  lots  to  the  stew- 
ards of  some  of  the  exclusive  clubs  for  the  top 
price,  and  then  pay  a  dollar  a  bottle  for  the  empties, 
provided  the  labels  are  not  damaged.  The  bottles 
are  then  filled  with  moonshine,  sealed  with  imita- 
tion stamps,  and  sold  to  the  man  who  can  only 
afford  to  buy  a  bottle  or  two  at  a  time  as  A-one 
stock. 

One  characteristic  of  the  rum-runner  which 
seems  to  predominate  is  his  everlasting  boasting. 
To  hear  one  of  these  individuals  talk,  anyone  would 
get  the  impression  that  he  was  the  bravest,  clever- 
est and  noblest  of  the  Jesse  James  type  of  bandit. 

Rum-runners  always  talk  in  large  figures,  and 
because  of  their  bravado  and  exaggeration,  many 
people  have  the  impression  that  the  traffic  is  a 
great  deal  larger  in  volume  than  the  actual  facts 
warrant. 

I  have  posed  as  a  bootlegger  myself  in  order  to 
catch  a  bootlegger.     As  a  rule,  I  would  start  the 

105 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

conversation  by  trying  to  purchase  ten  barrels  or 
a  car-load  of  whiskey.  The  bootlegger  would 
counter  with  the  information  that  he  could  not 
bother  with  such  small-town  business.  If  I  cared 
to  talk  on  a  worth-while  basis,  say  two  or  three 
car-loads,  he  would  be  glad  to  accommodate  me. 
After  a  reasonable  amount  of  such  cheap  and  harm- 
less talk,  a  trade  might  be  consummated  for  from 
three  to  six  bottles,  possibly  a  case.  It  is  such  talk 
which  leads  those  who  are  unacquainted  with  the 
facts,  or  those  anxious  to  distort  the  truth,  to  say 
that  more  rum  is  sold  under  prohibition  than  in  the 
days  of  license. 

A  good  example  of  a  bootlegger's  bluff  and  blus- 
ter which  led  a  good  churchman  to  spread  propa- 
ganda against  prohibition  is  the  case  of  a  doctor 
who  has  been  a  close  friend  for  some  time.  He 
came  to  me  one  day  and  said,  "Wilson,  I  can  buy 
a  barrel  of  whiskey  any  time  from  a  bootlegger," 
but  unfortunately  he  refrained  from  giving  the 
name  of  said  bootlegger.  I  answered  ''Marvelous! 
Why  not  buy  the  barrel"?  He  answered  "I  do  not 
drink."  Then  "Why  not  buy  it  to  sell,"  I  replied, 
and  he  answered  quite  indignantly,  "Why,  you 
know  I  am  not  a  bootlegger."  "Yes,"  I  replied, 
"and  the  bootlegger  knew  that  you  did  not  drink 
or  that  you  would  not  take  the  barrel  for  a  gift. 
I  might  go  to  my  own  church  on  a  Sunday  and 
take  orders  all  day  long  for  barrels  of  whiskey, 
safe  in  the  knowledge  that  no  one  would  ever  call 
my  bluff.  Doctor,  I  should  advise  either  trying  to 
buy  this  barrel  or  ceasing  to  be  a  propagandist  in 
favor  of  the  Svets'." 

One  exciting  capture  of  several  bootleggers  near 
the  close  of  my  regime  as  Prohibition  Chief  is  of- 
ered  as  a  typical  example.  Arrangements  were 
made  by  one  of  my  agents  with  a  bootlegger  to  buy 
one  hundred  fifty  gallons  of  moonshine  at  six  dol- 
lars a  gallon.  The  bootlegger  would  not  talk  with 
my  man  until  he  had  actually  seen  the  money,  so 

106 


OUTWITTING  THE  BOOTLEGGER 

the  day  prior  to  the  capture  nine  hundred  dollars 
was  deposited  in  a  certain  bank  and  the  bootlegger 
was  allowed  to  see  that  my  man  actually  had  that 
much  money.  Arrangements  were  then  made  to 
have  the  goods  delivered  at  a  certain  garage  in 
Boston.  My  agent  who  was  to  make  the  purchase, 
was  to  be  at  the  garage  at  seven  in  the  evening  with 
the  nine  hundred  dollars.  Since  none  of  these  gen- 
tlemen trust  each  other  my  agent  insisted  upon  the 
bootlegger  bringing  in  a  sample  of  his  goods  before 
handing  over  the  money.  At  about  six  in  the  even- 
ing, four  agents  were  loaded  into  a  limousine 
and  driven  into  the  garage  lying  fiat  on  their  backs 
in  the  car.  At  this  time,  the  bootlegger  had  sentinels 
watching  all  avenues  of  approach  to  the  garage,  so 
that  if  my  agents  had  come  in  any  other  way,  the 
transaction  would  have  fallen  through.  At  the  ap- 
pointed time,  the  bootlegger  put  in  his  appearance 
at  the  garage,  met  my  man  in  a  private  office,  and 
insisted  on  seeing  the  money.  Then  my  man  in- 
sisted on  seeing  some  of  the  goods.  While  this 
was  going  on,  a  Dodge  truck  had  been  going  up 
and  down  the  street.  The  bootlegger  signalled  for 
the  truck,  which  stopped  in  front  of  the  garage, 
and  he  lifted  out  a  five-gallon  can  of  moonshine  and 
carried  it  into  the  office  for  examination  by  my 
agent.  The  truck  immediately  started  up  again 
but  soon  turned  round  and  came  back  toward  the 
garage.  As  the  truck  was  about  to  pass,  my  agent 
jumped  the  bootlegger  with  the  five  gallons  of 
moonshine.  The  agents  in  the  car  rushed  out  and 
held  up  the  truck.  The  capture  happened  so  rapid- 
ly that  no  gun-play  was  necessary,  although  the 
bootlegger  in  the  private  office  put  up  quite  a 
strenuous  scrap. 
^  The  men  who  run  whiskey  from  Canada  often- 
times have  some  very  clever  false  bottoms  or  other 
places  of  concealment  in  their  cars.  One  runner, 
I  can  remember,  instead  of  having  the  usual  leather 
cushion  in  the  front  and  back  seats,  had  inserted 

107 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

tanks  which  would  hold  in  the  neighborhood  of 
twenty  gallons  each,  the  tank  being  covered,  of 
course,  with  leather.  Unless  a  person  got  into  the 
car  and  leaned  against  the  tank  no  suspicion  would 
be  aroused  that  there  was  anything  unusual  about 
the  car. 

Oftentimes  the  rum-runner  carries  a  lady  or  two, 
or  even  his  family  to  divert  suspicion.  Sometimes 
the  liquor  is  concealed  in  a  truck  loaded  with  hay, 
bricks  or  anything  else  for  concealment.  I  picked 
up  a  bootlegger  near  Long  Meadow  at  one  time 
who  made  the  mistake  of  carrying  the  same  load 
of  furniture  each  time.  A  farmer's  wife's  sus- 
picion was  aroused  on  seeing  the  same  chair  go 
by  the  farm  on  a  number  of  different  occasions 
and  consequently  tipped  off  my  office. 

I  have  found  the  contraband  liquor  encased  in 
bales  of  hay  which  had  been  shipped  through  from 
Canada,  or  in  carloads  of  potatoes,  turnips,  or  even 
Christmas  trees.  At  one  time  a  fairly  good  busi- 
ness was  carried  on  by  freight  cars  loaded  with  po- 
tatoes at  St.  Francis  or  Fort  Kent  near  the  Cana- 
dian line.  The  whiskey  was  smuggled  across  the 
border  in  the  night  and  concealed  in  the  potato 
cars.  Each  car  had  its  potato  bug.  The  potato 
bug  is  the  man  placed  in  the  car  to  care  for  the 
fire  in  order  to  prevent  the  freezing  of  the  potatoes. 
En  route  to  Massachusetts,  the  potato  bug  breaks 
the  stove  occasionally,  necessitating  a  stop  in  some 
of  the  larger  cities.  Whenever  a  stop  is  made,  some 
of  the  booze  is  sold.  By  the  time  the  car  reaches 
its  destination,  all  of  the  liquor  has  been  sold. 

Every  precaution  is  taken  by  the  rum-runner  to 
guard  against  capture.  Sometimes  they  operate 
in  pairs,  an  empty  car  running  ahead.  If  no  traps 
are  found,  the  other  car  with  the  load  passes 
through  with  safety.  Sometimes  when  the  road  is 
known  to  be  guarded,  one  bootlegger  with  an 
empty  car  with  brilliant  lights  drives  ahead.  The 
man  with  the  load  follows  in  the  rear  without  lights. 

108 


OUTWITTING  THE  BOOTLEGGER 

While  the  agents  are  busy  stopping  the  first  car, 
the  other  man  steps  on  the  gas  and  shoots  by  before 
he  can  be  stopped. 

Desperate  tactics  are  sometimes  resorted  to,  such 
as  driving  at  tremendous  rates  of  speed  without 
lights,  or  through  congested  traffic.  The  rum-run- 
ner has  no  regard  for  any  law,  and  consequently 
is  a  serious  menace  to  the  road.  In  one  case  in 
Maine,  a  bootlegger  operating  in  a  Cole  Eight,  the 
prohibition  agents  in  a  Buick  Six,  deliberately  ran 
into  the  prohibition  car,  badly  wrecking  both  auto- 
mobiles. His  object  was  to  cripple  the  agents  so 
that  some  of  his  pals  could  run  through  unmolested. 

This  case  had  a  very  peculiar  ending.  The  boot- 
legger was  taken  into  court  and  fined  a  thousand 
dollars,  which  he  promptly  paid.  The  agents  were 
then  served  with  a  trespass  writ  by  the  attorney  for 
the  bootlegger  for  occupying  more  than  half  the 
road,  and  requested  to  furnish  bail  in  five  thousand 
dollars  each.^  As  the  agents  were  unable  to  fur- 
nish that  amount  of  bail,  they  were  held  by  the 
local  sheriff  until  the  next  day.  The  district  at- 
torney supplied  the  bail  on  the  afternoon  of  the  fol- 
lowing day,  and  that  night  the  agents  picked  up 
another  rum-runner,  much  to  the  surprise  of  the 
latter  gentleman,  who  stated  "Where  did  you  fel- 
lows come  from?  I  understood  the  sheriff  had  all 
the  agents  locked  up." 

A  very  amusing  case  in  Boston,  one  agent 
entered  a  house  to  arrange  for  a  buy,  and  two 
other  agents  were  close  by  in  an  automobile  so 
as  to  be  ready  for  any  emergency.  The  agent  in 
the  house  came  out  with  three  Italians,  entered 
a  high-powered  car,  and  drove  away,  followed  by 
the  other  agents.  The  car  passed  through  Boston 
into  Somerville,  Everett,  Revere,  Chelsea,  back 
into  Revere  and  stopped  at  a  house.  The  agent  and 
the  Italians  went  into  the  house,  and  in  a  short 
time  the  agents  on  the  outside  received  a  signal 
to  rush  the  house.     They  found  the  other  agent 

109 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

in  the  act  of  paying  for  fifteen  gallon  cans  of  moon- 
shine. The  Italians  were  immediately  arrested 
and  the  cans  seized.  The  Italians  protested  most 
violently  at  being  arrested,  and  finally  convinced 
the  agents  that  they  had  better  sample  the  cans. 
It  was  found  that  all  contained  water,  except  two, 
which  had  a  small  pocket  underneath  the  stopper 
filled  with  alcohol.  The  balance  was  water.  As 
luck  would  have  it,  there  was  sufficient  alcohol  in 
the  two  cans  to  bring  the  Italians  into  court  for 
illegal  sale  and  possession  of  intoxicating  liquor. 
In  view  of  the  small  quantity,  however,  the  court 
let  the  men  oflf  very  easily.  If  I  had  been  the  pre- 
siding justice,  I  should  have  given  a  double  sen- 
tence, one  for  selling  liquor,  and  the  other  for 
misrepresenting  the  goods  sold. 

One  very  humorous  experience  shows  that  the 
most  conscientious  prohibition  agent  may  associate 
with  a  bootlegger  without  knowing  it.  I  hired  an 
exceptionally  good  chauffeur  from  a  certain  auto- 
mobile concern  in  Boston.  With  this  chauffeur  and 
an  agent,  I  raided  a  large  distillery  about  twenty 
miles  outside  of  Boston.  I  noticed  that  both  the 
chauffeur  and  the  man  running  the  still  acted  very 
peculiarly.  After  a  time,  I  sent  the  agent  and 
chauffeur  away  on  an  errand  and  approached  the 
owner  of  the  still  and  his  wife.  I  said  "It  was  a 
mean  trick  for  that  chauffeur  to  give  you  away." 
"What!"  said  the  man.  "Did  he  tell  you  that  I 
was  running  a  still?"  "How  would  I  know  you 
were,"  I  replied,  "unless  he  did."  The  man  and 
his  wife  then  grew  very  talkative  and  told  me  the 
whole  story.  It  seems  that  the  automobile  man  in 
Boston  was  financing  this  farmer,  paying  him  five 
dollars  a  gallon  for  his  moonshine.  My  chauffeur 
had  been  coming  to  the  place  twice  a  week  to  carry 
away  the  product. 

Some  of  the  hiding-places  of  the  rum-runners 
are  very  ingenious.  I  have  found  the  liquor  in 
false  coal  bins,  in   false   closets,  under  the  steps 

110 


OUTWITTING  THE  BOOTLEGGER 

of  stairways.  In  one  case,  I  found  a  barrel  which 
had  been  buried  in  the  ground  and  a  porch  built 
over  it.  Needless  to  say,  this  latter  hiding  place 
was  not  found  without  a  tip.  This  particular  boot- 
legger had  sold  another  moonshine  and  charged  the 
regular  price  for  real  whiskey.  By  way  of  retalia- 
tion, my  informant  told  me  where  the  whiskey  was 
concealed.  More  bona  fide  tips  are  received  in  this 
way  than  in  any  other. 

One  of  the  most  encouraging  feaures  of  prohi- 
hibition  law  enforcement  is  the  fact  that  those  en- 
gaged in  the  liquor  traffic  are  constantly  crooking 
each  other.  No  business  of  any  consequence  can 
be  built  on  crookedness.  Bootleggers  do  not  trust 
each  other,  and  the  consuming  public  is  rapidly 
awakening  to  the  fact  that  they  cannot  trust  any- 
one engaged  in  this  illicit,  poison-dispensing  traffic. 

Even  a  man  with  the  nerve  and  the  equipment 
to  run  bona  fide  whiskey  from  Canada  finds  his  list 
of  customers  seriously  limited,  because  of  lack  of 
confidence.  The  man  of  limited  means  who  has 
paid  ten  to  fifteen  dollars  for  a  bottle  of  Old  Rye 
Whiskey  and  finds  that  he  has  purchased  moon- 
shine is  apt  to  be  a  very  wary  customer  the  next 
time.  Especially,  if  the  moonshine  is  of  such  a 
poor  grade  that  it  makes  him  sick. 

The  moonshiner  who  makes  his  unpallatable 
liquor  in  a  cellar,  has  a  printing  plant  on  the  first 
floor,  and  a  bottling  plant  on  the  third  floor,  has 
seriously  cut  into  the  rum-running  business.  The 
"shiner"  can  do  a  very  creditable  job  on  imitation 
in  everything  except  the  contents  of  the  bottle,  and 
that  is  of  no  consequence  to  him  as  long  as  he  gets 
his  price  and  his  profit. 

One  effective  preventative  against  the  road  men- 
ace of  the  rum-runner  would  be  refusal  to  issue  a 
driver's  permit  to  any  man  convicted  of  this  ne- 
farious traffic. 

The  rum  runner  with  his  exaggerated  ego,  and 
his  crooked  methods  will  soon  disappear. 

Ill 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

THE   HYPOCRISY  OF  WET   POLITICIANS 

DICTATING  DRY  LAW  ENFORCEMENT 

Chapter  XL 

The  absurdity  of  having  wet  politicians  dictate 
the  personnel  and  the  policy  of  dry  law  enforcement 
is  almost  too  obvious  for  comment.  Nevertheless 
some  observations  are  necessary  as  so  many  near 
statesmen  and  professional  politicians  are  so  de- 
cidedly wet  in  private,  and  so  vociferously  dry  in 
public  that  many,  ardently  in  favor  of  prohibition 
but  neophytes  in  the  ways  of  the  **pols",  are  badly 
fooled.  These  men  speak  at  a  Christian  Endeavor 
Meeting  one  night  and  participate  (perhaps  indulge 
would  be  a  more  descriptive  word)  in  a  wet  banquet 
the  next  evening.  They  are  governed  by  policy  and 
never  by  conviction.  Such  '*pols"  vote  one  way  and 
drink  another.  What  this  old  world  needs  today 
and  especially  law  enforcement  is  politicians  or  states- 
men if  possible,  who  are  actuated  by  personal  con- 
victions rather  than  the  reactions  received  from  their 
listening  posts.  Leaders  are  wanted  who  will  stand 
up,  and  beat  the  tom  tom  if  necessary  and  thus  help 
mould  public  opinion.  We  have  had  quite  enough 
of  the  timid  reactionary  variety  who  have  to  be 
pushed  into  constructive  aggressive  action.  The 
public  is  through  with  trying  to  push  its  elective 
officials  into  the  performance  of  their  duty.  Lead- 
ership of  the  type  of  Theodore  Roosevelt  will  save 
the  day. 

Roosevelt  was  not  always  right  but  he  was  always 
forging  fearlessly  ahead  according  to  his  own  con- 
victions. No  man  ever  beat  the  tom  tom  more  than 
Theodore  Roosevelt.  No  man  was  ever  more  round- 
ly abused  for  being  a  notoriety  seeker  and  boosting 
of  the  big  *'I  AM"  yet  he  is  classed  as  one  of,  if  not 
the  greatest  American.  He  did  more  than  any  other 
man  in  the  history  of  our  country  to  awaken  the 

112 


HYPOCRISY  OF  WET  POLITICIANS 

public  conscience  and  stimulate  100%,  virile 
Americanism. 

The  Republican  party  today  la«  ks  leadership,  es- 
pecially in  Massachusetts.  There  is  no  outstanding 
leader  in  the  Old  Bay  State  and  as  a  consequence 
the  G.  O.  P.  ship  is  headed  for  the  rocks. 

It  is  useless  to  protest  and  do  nothing. 
Someone  must  take  the  chance  of  soiling  his  gar- 
ments and  the  serenity  of  his  home  life  by  mixing 
in  the  political  whirl.  If  the  party  is  to  be  purged 
it  must  be  at  the  primaries  in  September. 

Men  who  are  sincerely  dry  with  the  nerve  to  take 
the  gaff  and  abuse  they  are  sure  to  receive  must 
be  nominated.  It  is  foolhardy  to  expect  the  prohibi- 
tion enforcement  department  to  get  results  if  a  large 
percentage  of  the  State  and  City  officials  are  either 
slackers  on  their  jobs  or  secretly  conniving  to  bum 
the  bridges  behind  the  men  sworn  to  enforce  the 
law. 

My  discharge  as  prohibition  chief  for  too  im- 
partially enforcing  the  law  I  had  taken  an  oath  to 
enforce  may  lead  other  men  endeavoring  to  fill  a 
similar  position  to  believe  that  discretion  is  wiser 
than  valor  when  the  law  is  violated  by  the  big  fel- 
lows. We  must  see  to  it  that  my  successor  h  not 
intimidated  in  this  way.  The  fight  must  be  carried 
to  the  wet  and  luke  warm  politicians  so  persistently 
and  so  effectively  that  they  will  either  buck  up  in 
their  enforcement  endeavors  or  find  certain  defeat 
staring  them  in  the  face.  In  some  instances  defeat 
is  the  only  remedy,  while  in  the  case  of  some  officials 
an  aroused  public  opinion  will  ^et  the  desired  results. 

As  Chief  Enforcement  officer  I  was  pestered  con- 
tinually by  wet  politicians  trying  to  dictate  the  ap- 
pointment of  dry  agents.  While  these  gentlemen 
could  not  make  me  recommend  their  men  they  were 
in  a  position  to  retard  me  in  securing  appointment  of 
competent  trustworthy  agents. 

Such  tactics  must  cease.    The  man  sworn  to  en- 

113 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

force  the  Prohibitory  Law  should  have  every  co- 
operation. He  must  have  clean  cut  honest  fearless 
100%  prohibitionists  for  agents.  It  is  just  as  ridicu- 
lous to  expect  a  wet  politician's  wet  selection  as 
agent  to  inforce  the  law  as  it  is  to  expect  a  millinery 
saleswoman  to  sell  steel  products.  In  other  words 
a  business  corporation  will  not  employ  a  salesman 
who  does  not  know  and  believe  in  the  particular 
article  he  is  supposed  to  sell.  The  prohibition  de- 
partment should  not  employ  agents  who  do  not  be- 
lieve and  actually  support  the  Volstead  Act.  Agents 
selected  by  100%  prohibitionists  are  not  infallible 
but  those  selected  by  anti-prohibitionists  are  impos- 
sible. Politics  and  prohibition  enforcement  ought 
to  be  segregated.  Quoting  from  Dr.  Frank  King- 
don's  Tremont  Temple  speech,  "If  politicians  persist 
in  meddling  in  prohibition  enforcement  it  is  the  duty 
of  the  churches  to  dabble  in  politics  to  the  extent  that 
the  politicians  who  would  make  a  farce  of  the  pro- 
hibitory laws  are  put  out  of  office." 

Under  the  leadership  of  Senator  Lodge  and  his 
lieutenants  Innes,  Bottomly,  et  al,  the  G.  O.  P.  was 
practically  wiped  off  the  map  in  1912.  These  same 
so-called  leaders  are  steering  the  old  party  for  the 
same  shallow  rocky  waters,  and  unless  the  best 
citizens  of  the  Old  Commonwealth  immediately  take 
a  hand  the  Republican  Party  is  due  for  the  toboggan. 
Even  this  bugaboo,  however,  will  not  deter  those 
standing  squarely  for  law  enforcement.  Our  con- 
stitutional laws  are  of  vastly  more  importance  than 
any  party. 

Certain  leeches  in  the  body  politic  that  collect  both 
ways  regardless  of  who  wins  must  be  eliminated. 
Men  with  the  courage  of  their  conviction  whose 
ideals  are  those  of  the  general  public  rather  than  -f 
State  Street  should  be  entered  in  the  primary  lists 
against  our  publicly  dry  and  privately  wet  politicians. 

The  political  aspect  of  my  removal  is  well  illus- 
trated by  the  following  editorial  appearing  in  the 

114 


HYPOCRISY  OF  WET  POLITICIANS 

Boston  Telegram,  January  21,  1922.  While  I  do  not 
consider  myself  a  martyr  or  even  a  near  martyr,  the 
folly  of  allowing  a  few  wet  politicians  to  dictate  the 
destinies  of  the  Republican  party  is  clearly  shown 
in  this  editorial.  It  is  not  a  question  of  whether 
Wilson  was  removed  or  not  but  whether  wet  politi- 
cians can  supervise  with  impunity  the  exact  degree 
and  thoroughness  with  which  the  dry  laws  are  to  I>t 
enforced.  The  Telegram  is  undoubtedly  correct  in 
its  statement — traitors  of  the  G.  O.  P.  could  not 
have  planned  a  more  effective  way  in  which  to  in- 
jure the  party.  The  question  that  every  thoughtful 
Republican  should  answer  to  his  own  satisfaction,  is, 
"Are  certain  prominent  Republicans  who  generally 
collect  both  ways  on  all  Legislation,  more  interested 
in  the  rum  ring  than  they  are  in  the  G.  O.  P? 

WILSON'S    MARTYRDOM 

If  some  traitor  within  the  Republican  party  had 
bribed  men  to  wreck  the  organization,  he  could  not  have 
suggested  a  better  method  of  bringing  ruin  than  by  re- 
moving Harold  D.  Wilson  federal  prohibition  enforce- 
ment officer  from  his  Boston  post. 

Wilson's  crime  was  committed  when  he  took  the  con- 
istitution  of  the  United  States  seriously  and  accepted  it 
as  the  law  of  the  land.  He  believed  that  the  prohibi- 
tion amendment,  being  an  integral  part  of  the  funda- 
mental law  of  the  land,  should  be  enforced,  even  when 
the  violators  happened  to  be  members  of  the  Republican 
party  gathered  at  the  Quincy  House  to  fete  the  Govern- 
or of  the   Commonwealth. 

Wilson  is  being  punished  by  being  driven  from  Mass- 
achusetts. 

In  the  future,  men  sworn  to  do  their  duty  as  officers 
of  the  federal  government  will  realize  that  they  are 
expected  to  make  mental  reservations  when  taking  the 
oath,  and  that  they  are  supposed  to  do  their  duty  only 
when  it  will  not  injure  Republican  politicians. 

Today,  what  do  we  see? 

A  war  veteran  who  does  his  duty  and  attempts  to 
enforce  the  law  is  driven  from  his  position  because  he 
offended  Republican  politicians. 

The  petty,  narrow-minded,  short-sighted  Republican 
politicians  who  have  driven  out  Wilson,  have  signed 
their   own    death    warrants.     Their   party    is   doomed. 

115 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

When  the  next  election  day  comes  they  will  find  that 
men  and  women  who  believe  in  the  constitution,  who  up- 
hold law  and  order,  will  repudiate  them  for  what  they 
are — law-breakers  and  terrorists. 

What  a  desperate  gang  the  politicians  are.  They  are 
the  anarchists,  truly.  They  want  law  only  when  the 
other  fellow  is  affected,  but  they  demand  for  themselves 
the  right  to  break  any  law  without  fear  of  punishment. 

If  Harold  D.  Wilson,  persecuted  by  politicians,  re- 
turns to  Massachusetts,  he  will  be  able  to  defeat  any 
other  Republican  who  opposes  him  for  the  governorship. 

Is  that  why  the  group  desiring  to  murder  him  politi- 
cally sees  to  it  that  he  is  offered  another  iob  outside  of 
the  state?  Do  they  want  to  get  Wilson  away,  so  far 
away  that  the  citizens  of  Massachusetts  will  forget  him 
and  what  he  has  done? 

I  take  exception  to  this  editorial  in  one  respect 
only,  that  is,  the  public  will  forget  Wilson,  but  not 
law  enforcement.  Law  enforcement  is  the  real  issue 
and  not  Harold  D.  Wilson.  The  Republican  party 
can  still  prove  it  stands  **four  square"  for  law  and 
order  or  law  enforcement  not  by  the  reinstatement 
of  Wilson  or  his  elevation  to  some  other  post,  but 
by  the  absoute  repudiation  of  the  group  of  wet 
"pols?  who  stand  squarely  for  rum  or  ruin. 

The  quicker  the  Republican  party  is  purged  of 
Charley  Innes  and  his  errand  boy  cohorts  the  better 
for  the  G.  O.  P.  and  all  citizens  who  believe  in  one 
law  which  is  the  same  for  all  men. 

It  is  these  men  who  are  handicapping  the  enforce- 
ment of  the  Volstead  Act,  and  it  is  the  same  crowd 
who  are  constantly  retarding  the  passage  of  any 
progressive  humanitarian  legislation. 

They  claim  that  the  prohibitory  amendment 
can  not  be  enforced.  That  it  has  been  a  farce,  but 
they  dare  not  give  it  a  fair  chance  by  a  reasonable 
trial. 

Like  Louis  Coolidge,  said  to  be  one  of  the  wettest 
of  the  wets  who  attaches  his  name  to  anti-prohibi- 
tionists' literature  at  every  opportunity  and  is  re- 
ported to  be  still  grumbling  about  Woman  Suffrage, 

116 


HYPOCRISY  OF  WET  POLITICIANS 

this  group  is  still  living  in  the  past  unaware  of  the 
fact  that  the  public  conscience  has  been  awakened 
and  is  demanding  real,  unmistL^kable  results  rather 
than  high-sounding  verbiage.  The  main  difficulty 
with  prohibition  enforcement  today,  is  the  obstruc- 
tionists' methods  of  certain  wet  interests  and  the  per- 
sistent insidious  propaganda  of  the  same  interests. 
According  to  these  gentlement  the  law  restricts  per- 
sonal liberty,  does  not  and  cannot  prohibit;  more 
liquor  is  sold  than  ever,  there  are  more  drunks. 
Prohibition  agents  are  lawless  and  irresponsible  in 
their  tactics.  Enforcement  of  the  law  is  terribly 
expensive.  It  is  the  most  unpopular  act  in  the  his- 
tory of  the  ages.  It  is  impossible  to  enforce,  etc., 
etc. 

These  are  arguments  of  the  wet  propagandists. 
Briefly  I  wish  to  answer  a  few  of  these  objections. 

Personal  liberty — Every  law  that  is  on  our  Statute 
Books  restricts  personal  liberty.  A  man  cannot 
murder,  h^e  cannot  steal  without  paying  the  penalty. 
The  good  housewife  cannot  throw  her  garbage  out 
the  nearest  window,  although  that  would  be  the 
easiest  way.  The  autoist  cannot  drive  as  fast  as  he 
wishes,  although  in  many  cases  his  personal  liberty 
and  personal  convenience  are  very  much  incon- 
venienced by  the  restraining  influence  of  the  auto 
laws. 

Does  not  prohibit — No  law  absolutely  prohibits 
and  some  are  more  freely  violated  than  the  Volstead 
Act,  with  very  many  more  facilities  for  enforcement. 
The  laws  on  stealing,  overspeeding  and  the  dodging 
of  taxes  do  not  prohibit  and  in  as  much  as  they  do 
not  actually  prohibit  they  should  be  repealed  if  the 
argument  of  the  wet  propagandists  is  carried  to  its 
logical  conclusion.  One  of  our  laws,  which  is  per- 
sistently violated,  is  the  statute  requiring  persons 
carrying  a  gun  to  have  a  permit.  Whenever  a  crook 
or  a  bootlegger  is  arrested,  however,  he  is  always 
fotmd  to  be  toting  a  gun,  and  never  has  a  permit. 

117 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

Why  not  repeal  this  law  since  it  seems  to  be  absolute- 
ly impossible  to  enforce  it  effectively? 

"More  sold*'  and  "more  drunks"  will  come  up  for 
refutation  in  another  chapter. 

The  falsity  of  the  charge  relative  to  the  illegal 
methods  of  agents  and  the  heavy  expense  of  main- 
taining the  prohibition  department  will  be  covered  in 
a  later  chapter,  but  both  of  these  are  so  easily  re- 
futed, that  it  seems  strange  that  anyone  would  ad- 
vance them  as  an  argument. 

The  supposed  unpopularity  of  prohibition  law  en- 
forcement is  to  be  established.  Some  have  been  very 
vociferous  in  their  claims  along  this  line  and  have 
apparently  judged  the  unpopularity  of  the  law  by 
the  volume  of  their  own  **mouthings". 

In  the  fall  the  people  will  have  an  opportunity  to 
vote  for  or  against  genuine  law  enforcement,  as  an 
act  to  bring  the  state  laws  into  conformity  with  the 
Volstead  Act  will  undoubtedly  be  up  for  a  referen- 
dum vote  at  that  time.  If  this  act  is  defeated  this 
fall  I  shall  be  willing  to  admit  that  the  enforcement 
of  the  prohibitory  amendment  in  Massachusetts  is 
unpopular. 

The  wets  have  claimed  from  time  to  time  that  the 
yes  vote  on  the  ballot  opposite  the  question,  "Shall 
licenses  be  issued  for  the  sale  of  certain  non  intoxi- 
cating beverages,"  is  an  indication  of  the  wet  and  dry 
vote.  Just  how  a  vote  on  such  an  ambiguously 
worded  question  can  establish  anything  is  a  myster}^ 
to  me  and  to  all  thinking  people.  What  does  the 
question  mean?  Does  it  mean  that  Moxie  and  other 
non-intoxicating  beverages  are  to  be  licensed? 
Moxie  certainly  is  non-intoxicating.  How  many  of 
the  electorate  know  that  under  the  state  law  intoxi- 
cating liquors  are  described  as  not  over  2}%,  while 
under  the  federal  law,  anything  over  J  of  one  percent 
is  classed  as  intoxicating  and  that  the  vote  on  the 
above  ballot  question  means  an  issuing  of  licenses 
for  the  sale  of  liquors  having  an  alcoholic  content 

118 


HYPOCRISY  OF  WET  POLITICIANS 

of  not  more  than  2}%. 

Let  us  forbear  passing-  an  opinion  upon  the  popu- 
larity of  the  Volstead  law,  until  the  people  have 
actually  had  the  chance  to  decide  the  question. 

Who  says  the  law  cannot  be  enforced?  The  men 
who  participated  in  the  Quincy  House  debauchery; 
the  lawyers  who  are  collecting  large  fees  for  tipping 
the  bootleggers  on  the  safe  way  in  which  to  violate 
the  constitutional  law  of  the  land  ;the  courts  who  will 
not  try  to  establish  reasonable  respect  for  the  law  by 
proper  sentences ;  or  the  wet  politicians  who  are 
moving  heaven  and  earth  to  put  obstacles  in  the  way 
of  law  enforcement.  It  is  the  very  people  who 
are  secretly  conniving  to  circumvent  the  law  that 
protest  its  impossibility. 

An  ordinary  murderer  or  thief  considers  our  laws 
farcical  until  he  is  brought  before  the  bars  of  justice, 
and  if  he  finds  the  courts  too  weak  kneed  to  give  him 
a  sentence,  he  will  still  consider  the  laws  a  farce. 

An  outraged  public  opinion  will  soon  prove  wheth- 
er the  prohibitory  law  can  be  enforced  for  the  rich 
as  well  as  the  poor.  And  this  same  indignant  and 
law  loving  public  will  remove  the  obstacles  in  the 
way  of  enforcement,  whether  it  be  the  wet  politicians, 
the  scheming  lawyers,  the  weak-kneed  courts,  or  the 
big  bankers,  who  have  thousands  of  dollars  tied  up 
in  bonded  warehouse  whiskey  certificates.  As  a  rule, 
it  is  pretty  easy  to  trace  the  enthusiasm  of  any  par- 
ticular individual  for  the  booze  traffic  to  his  own 
extremely  wet  stomach  craving,  to  his  pocketbook, 
or  to  the  desire  to  follow  the  path  of  least  resistance. 
The  first  class  will  soon  kill  themselves  by  drinking 
moonshine.  The  second  class  are  not  so  very  num- 
erous and  soon  will  be  seeking  a  more  lucrative  and 
safer  profession,  while  the  last  group  is  easily  sus- 
pectible  to  public  opinion  and  will  be  just  as  panicky, 
and  weak-kneed  before  a  storm  of  dry  protests  as 
they  are  now  overawed  by  the  bullying  and  loud- 
mouthed tactics  of  a  wet  minority. 

119 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

DRY  AGENTS— HOW  SELECTED 

THEIR  TEMPTATIONS 

Chapter  XII. 

It  was  my  belief  while  Chief  Enforcement  Officer 
in  Massachusetts  that  the  prohibitory  law  could  not 
be  enforced; 

By  those  who  did  not  believe  in  law  enforcement. 

By  those  who  did  not  want  it  enforced. 

By  the  actionless  appointees  of  "wet"  politicians. 

By  "drys"  mentally  and  physically  unfit. 

By  soft-pedal,  popularity-seeking  "drys." 

Big  business  houses  do  not  employ  representa- 
tives to  merchandise  their  product  unless  the  repre- 
sentatives know  and  believe  in  the  particular  goods 
to  be  sold. 

Prohibition  law  enforcement  should  be  carried  on 
by  men  who  are  possessed  with  aggressive  enthu- 
siasm, and  genuine  convictions  relative  to  the  cause 
of  prohibition. 

In  addition  to  conviction  and  enthusiasm,  agents 
must  be  able  to  stand  the  gaff  of  public  opinion. 

We  have  thousands  of  men  who  are  as  brave  as 
lions  in  physical  combat,  but  downright  cowards 
in  the  face  of  public  jibes.  Physical  bravery  is  a 
wonderful  asset,  but  it  is  not  to  be  compared  to 
the  mental  poise  that  can  carry  on  when  in  the  right, 
regardless  of  the  consequences.  Prohibition  agents 
need  this  poise,  not  because  the  majority  does  not 
approve  of  their  endeavors,  but  because  the  wet 
minority  is  so  much  more  vociferous.  It  seems  to 
be  a  great  deal  easier  to  berate  a  man  for  his  short- 
comings, than  to  praise  him  for  his  finer  qualities. 
Criticism  is  more  newsy.  If  I  should  write  a  treatise 
on  the  virtues  of  prohibition  agents  it  would  re- 
ceive little  if  any  newspaper  notice,  but  if  I  should 
picture  my  former  agents  as  a  lot  of  parasites  living 

120 


DRY  AGENTS 

on  the  public,  considerable  space  would  be  devoted 
to  my  harangue. 

In  selecting  agents,  it  is  difficult,  of  course,  to 
determine  how  much  punishment  they  can  absorb 
in  the  way  of  cheap  talk  from  wet  propagandists. 
The  safest  policy  is  to  take  those  with  backers  and 
intimate  friends,  likely  to  approve  of  and  sympa- 
thize with  their  activities  so  that  the  agents  will  at 
least  receive  encouragfement  when  at  home. 

A  certain  amount  of  temperamentality  is  neces- 
sary in  an  agent.  He  should  not  be  selected  for  his 
pacifist  views,  or  his  docility.  He  should  be  of  the 
type  that  gets  so  enthusiastic  over  the  work  in  hand 
that  he  carries  through  the  job  even  at  the  cost  of 
injuring  the  finer  sensibilities  of  those  engaged  in 
the  liquor  traffic. 

The  "slam-bang,"  go  through  man  permeating 
enthusiasm  and  confidence  in  his  every  action  is  an 
entirely  different  individual  than  the  suave  bank 
executive  who  calmly  and  quietly  directs  the  affairs 
of  a  financial  institution.  The  banker  is,  to  a  cer- 
tain extent,  negative.  He  is  constantly  checking  the 
impulsive,  who  would  get  rich  over  night.  He 
chills  rather  than  creates  enthusiasm.  The  actions 
of  a  prohibition  agent  are  positive.  He  is  in  the 
front  line  trenches.  He  does  not  wait,  as  the 
banker,  for  the  other  fellow  to  come  to  him,  he  goes 
out  after  his  man,  and  if  he  does  not  get  in  his 
work  first  the  undertaker  receives  some  business 
with  the  friends  of  the  agent,  rather  than  of  the 
bootlegger,  paying  the  bills. 

The  coolly  calculating  banker  makes  an  excellent 
ambassador  to  combat  European  diplomats,  largely 
because  he  lacks  temperament.  The  ideal  agent  acts 
on  the  spur  of  the  moment.  He  may  plan  and 
scheme  for  weeks  to  catch  a  certain  bootlegging 
ring,  but  when  the  time  comes  to  consummate  the 
deal,  the  plans  have  to  be  carried  through  with  pre- 
cision, speed  and  confidence. 

The  following  editorial  appearing  in  the  Spring- 

121 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

field  Republican  Jan.  28,  1922  is  very  much  to  the 
point : 

BOUNCED 

"Dry"  Wilson  is  bounced  for  "incompatibility  of  tem- 
perament." That  is  the  long  and  the  short  of  the  reason 
publicly  given  in  Washington  for  the  removal  of  the  chief 
state  enforcement  officer  under  the  prohibitory  law.  "There 
never  was  a  question  of  Mr.  Wilson's  honesty,  energy  and 
interest,"  Washington  admits.  And  that  is  some  admission. 
His  temperament  must  have  been  awful. 

Abraham  Lincoln,  when  complaints  came  to  him  that 
Gen.  Grant  at  the  height  of  his  career  of  victory  was  a 
hard  drinker,  asked  for  the  brand  of  whisky  he  kept  so 
that  he  might  send  some  to  the  other  generals.  Even  in 
such  a  matter  as  the  enforcement  of  prohibition,  this 
famous  whisky  story  applies.  If  the  trouble  with  "Dry" 
Wilson  is  his  temperament,  pray  give  us  more  enforce- 
ment officials  with  that  kind  of  a  temperament.  It  is 
temperament  that  enforces  or  fails  to  enforce  the  law. 
*     *     *     * 

This  matter  of  temperament  runs  deep.  Temperament 
19  very  often  the  chief  difference  between  success  and 
failure,  between  victory  and  defeat.  If  there  was  "in- 
compatibility of  temperament"  between  Wilson  and  Pot- 
ter, why  should  not  Potter  have  been  the  one  to  go? 

Big  business  fits  a  man  for  a  particular  job.  If 
temperament  and  initiative  are  needed  such  a  man 
is  hired.  In  politics  the  job  is  fitted  to  the  near- 
statesman.  A  man  with  ideas  and  a  punch  is  made 
supreme  High  Mogul  of  the  archives  division. 
While  the  lifeless,  helpless,  jobless  relic  of  by- 
gone days  is  placed  in  a  position  requiring  execu- 
tive ability.  In  other  words,  a  business  house  has  a 
certain  job  to  do  and  a  man  is  found  with  the  proper 
qualifications.  In  politics,  certain  individuals  have 
to  be  cared  for  and  a  job  is  hitched  to  a  man  be- 
cause of  his  political  rather  than  of  his  executive 
merit. 

Unfortunately  the  government  is  not  engaged  in 
the  undertaking  business,  consequently  it  is  quite 
difficult  to  fit  jobs  to  some  political  parasites  who 
are  dead  from  their  feet  up.  It  would  be  much 
cheaper  to  pension  such  federal  office  holders  and  . 
stop  cheating  the  undertakers. 

122 


DRY  AGENTS 

Prohibition  enforcement  must  be  taken  out  of 
politics,  if  proper  results  are  to  be  obtained.  It  is 
unfair  to  those  responsible  for  enforcement,  and  to 
those  who  believe  in  the  prohibitory  law,  to  allow 
wet  politicians  to  dictate  the  selection  of  agents. 
The  farcical  antics  of  some  of  our  Congressmen  in 
trying  to  make  a  political  football  out  of  law  en- 
forcement is  positively  scandalous.  Some  of  our 
high  officials  will  recommend  any  Tom,  Dick  or 
Harry  that  may  apply  simply  passing  the  buck  to 
the  man  responsible  for  the  selection.  Congressman 
Tinkham  who  boasts  of  being  100%  alcoholic  rec- 
ommended so  many  men  for  prohibition  positions 
that  I  was  unable  to  keep  track  of  the  count.  Many 
of  these  applicants  asserted  that  they  had  been  in- 
formed, confidentially,  that  they  were  the  only  men 
recommended  by  the  Congressman. 

Several  Congressmen  who  are  listed  as  "drys" 
persisted  in  recommending  political  door-bell  pull- 
ers, who  if  appointed  would  have  been  a  disgrace 
to  the  prohibition  department.  Some  recommenda- 
tions came  through  from  the  Governor  of  the  Com- 
monwealth, the  candidates  looking  to  me  more 
like  ward  healers  than  potential  agents.  The  chances 
are  that  the  Governor  never  saw  the  applicants  but 
the  principal  is  the  same.  Such  men  should  not  be 
recommended  unless  known.  I  am  pleased  to  state 
that  some  Congressmen  such  as  the  Hon.  Charles 
L.  Underbill  of  Somerville,  and  the  Hon.  John 
Jacobs  Rogers  of  Lowell  were  very  careful  who 
they  recommended,  and  as  a  consequence  their  can- 
didates received  careful  consideration.  Recommen- 
dations from  some  politicians  were  not  worth  the 
paper  on  which  they  were  written. 

The  Hon.  Charles  H.  Innes,  the  G.  O.  P.  Boston 
whip,  called  on  me  but  once  during  my  law  enforce- 
ment activities  and  apparently  decided  his  recom- 
mendations would  receive  scant  consideration.  It 
was  noticeable,  however,  that  he  appeared  to  be 
more  at  home  in  the  State  Director's  office.  In  fact 

123 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

I  am  reliably  informed  that  he  successfully  pleaded 
the  cause  of  a  permit  holder  client  the  week  fol- 
lowing my  discharge. 

In  selecting  prohibition  agents,  I  laid  down  a  few 
rules  which  I  endeavored  to  follow.  With  some- 
thing like  six  thousand  applicants  for  positions,  I 
was  in  a  position  to  be  quite  particular  as  to  the 
type  of  men  selected.  At  times  the  rush  for  jobs 
was  so  intense  that  I  had  to  stage  a  raid  or  two  in 
order  to  recover  my  equilibrium.  Many  of  the  appli- 
cants would  gladly  have  worked  on  a  strictly  com- 
mission basis,  while  others  appeared  to  be  the  type 
who  could  have  established  an  excellent  commis- 
sion business.  These  men  of  course  were  given  no 
consideration.  Several  hundred  of  the  applicants, 
however,  appeared  to  be  mighty  fine  men  and  came 
with  the  very  best  of  recommendations.  I  do  not 
imagine  that  there  was  ever  a  time  when  more 
really  high  class  men  were  in  search  of  employ- 
ment. It  was  very  difficult  to  make  selections,  and 
some  of  the  pathetic  stories  of  unemployment  were 
extremely  hard  to  resist.  I  was  thoroughly  con- 
vinced, however,  that  an  effective  prohibition  en- 
forcement department  could  not  be  founded  on  sym- 
pathy or  compassion  and  my  agents  were  selected 
as  much  as  possible  on  merit.  Candidates  had  to 
measure  up  to  the  following  requirements: 

First,  Candidates  had  to  have  the  physical  stamina 
and  intellect  to  stand  the  gaff. 

Second,  they  had  to  possess  the  moral  courage 
and  integrity  to  resist  the  many  temptations  sure  to 
confront  an  agent. 

Third,  they  had  to  be  genuine  prohibitionists  by 
conviction  not  through  policy. 

Fourth,  married  men  with  families  were  given  the 
preference  as  much  as  possible  on  the  ground  that 
family  responsibilities  kept  a  man's  feet  on  the 
ground. 

Fifth,  service  men  were  given  every  considera- 
tion, as  their  military  training,  especially  in  the  use 

124 


DRY  AGENTS 

of  fire  arms  was  of  value  and  in  my  opinion  they 
deserved  preference. 

Little  attention  was  paid  to  the  politicians  seek- 
ing political  patronage  although  the  candidate  of 
a  Congressman  or  State  Official  who  seemed  to 
measure  up  to  the  above  qualifications  was  selected 
in  preference  to  the  man  without  political  backing. 

My  usual  method  was  to  pick  a  few  men  who 
seemed  to  qualify  and  then  send  them  out  to  see  if 
they  could  pass  the  third  degree  of  such  organiza- 
tions as  the  Anti-Saloon  League,  the  American 
Legion,  the  Republican  State  committee  or  Repub- 
lican League,  and  certain  well-known  citizens  not 
prominently  identified  in  politics  in  the  candidates* 
own  city  or  town. 

I  take  great  pride  in  the  class  of  men  selected,  and 
felt  that  when  I  left  the  prohibition  department  I 
had  a  force  of  nineteen  agents  that  could  not  be 
duplicated  anywhere  in  the  United  States.  I  wish 
that  I  could  commend  these  men  individually,  for 
their  exceptional  loyalty  and  devotion  to  the  cause 
of  prohibition  law  enforcement.  But  in  justice  to 
the  men  and  my  successor  in  office  it  would  not  be 
fair  to  impair  their  efficiency  by  publishing  their 
names,  consequently  I  will  have  to  restrict  my 
testimonials  to  the  frank  statement  that  if  anything 
worth  while  was  actually  accomplished,  during  my 
regime  as  Prohibition  Chief,  it  was  due  in  large 
measure  to  the  untiring,  unselfish,  absolutely  fear- 
less activities  of  my  agents. 

In  spite  of  the  care  with  which  these  agents  were 
selected,  and  the  fact  that  all  were  thoroughly 
tested,  and  not  found  wanting,  I  fear  that  eventu- 
ally a  small  percentage  will  fall  by  the  wayside.  The 
factors  undermining  the  morale  of  prohibition 
agents  may  be  grouped  under  three  heads. 

First,  the  actual  attempt  at  bribery  by  those 
caught  trafficing  in  liquor. 

Second,  the  depressing  influence  of  the  low  class 
of  people  apprehended  in  the  liquor  business. 

125 


DRY  LAWS  AND  ,WET  POLITICIANS 

Third,  the  slurring  remarks  and  persistent  propa- 
ganda relative  to  the  integrity  and  moral  character 
of  agents  by  those  opposed  to  law  enforcement. 

I  suppose  the  third  of  these  is  the  most  demoraliz- 
ing. Of  course,  there  is  ample  opportunity  for  brib- 
ery, although  the  actual  number  of  bribes  offered  is 
very  limited  unless  the  agent  gives  some  encour- 
agement to  those  who  would  pay  for  protection.  I 
am  proud  to  say  that  I  was  approached  on  but  few 
occasions  and  make  no  boast  of  unusual  virtue  in 
turning  down  the  thousands  and  thousands  of  dol- 
lars in  graft  money  that  some  seem  to  believe  prohi- 
bition agents  can  obtain  if  they  are  so  inclined. 

My  instructions  to  agents  were  to  raid  any  one 
at  any  time,  and  as  I  did  not  leave  an  agent  in  any 
city  or  town  for  any  length  of  time,  there  was 
really  no  opportunity  to  guarantee  protection  as  it 
would  be  necessary  to  buy  up  a  new  agent  every 
few  weeks.  I  can  give  a  few  illustrations,  however, 
of  how  graft  could  be  taken,  and  I  know  was  taken 
by  some  agents  long  since  siispended  from  the  force. 
A  raid  is  staged  upon  a  near  beer  saloon,  and  the 
only  evidence  found  is  a  pint  of  whiskey.  This  is 
ample  for  the  conviction.  The  conviction  may  mean 
a  fine  of  several  hundred  dollars  or  a  jail  sentence. 
If  the  agent  could  be  induced  to  accidently  drop  the 
bottle,  and  break  it,  or  return  it  to  the  proprietor, 
he  would  save  the  inconvenience  and  notoriety  of 
going  to  court,  the  fine  of  several  hundred  dollars, 
and  the  lawyer's  fee,  also  the  tax  of  $500  which  is 
levied  by  the  United  States  upon  any  one  convicted 
of  selling  intoxicating  liquors  without  a  license.  A 
few  hundred  dollars  could  be  passed  in  such  an  in- 
stance with  little  danger  of  detection.  I  discharged 
an  agent  for  such  an  offense. 

Another  example,  in  some  court  cases  an  agent 
might  prevent  conviction  by  the  slightest  uncer- 
tainty in  his  testimony.  His  failure  to  testify  posi- 
tively would  be  worth  considerable  money. 

If   a    rum-runner    is    captured   with    a   valuable 

126 


DRY  AGENTS 

cargo  of  whiskey  and  a  high  priced  car,  freedom 
would  be  worth  anywhere  from  five  hundred  to  sev- 
eral thousand  dollars  to  the  runner.  Another  prac- 
tice which  I  found  had  been  employed  was  the  fail- 
ure to  account  for  all  of  the  goods  captured,  for 
instance,  if  $10,000  in  liquor  is  found  on  a  freight 
car,  and  only  $500  is  accounted  for  in  the  report  of 
the  agent,  someone  can  benefit  quite  materially  with 
the  other  $9500.  These  possibilities  are  cited  simply 
to  prove  my  contention  that  it  is  imperative  to  hire 
the  very  highest  type  of  men  for  this  job.  It  is  per- 
fectly obvious  that  the  protege  of  the  wet  politi- 
cian, the  professional  door-bell  puller  or  the  poli- 
tical hanger-on  are  not  qualified. 

The  constant  rubbing  shoulder  to  shoulder  with 
the  underworld  is  not  particularly  agreeable  or  con- 
ducive to  improved  morals.  Day  after  day  agents 
are  confronted  by  this  class  of  people  in  court.  The 
success  of  the  bootlegger  or  manufacturer  of  moon- 
shine, promjited  in  many  instances  by  second-class 
attorneys,  in  absolutely  lying  out  of  any  connec- 
tion with  liquor  found  upon  their  premises  is  both 
disheartening  and  disgusting,  especially  when  the 
agent  knows  he  is  being  double-crossed  by  the 
vendor  of  hootch.  It  is  very  discouraging  to  see 
such  tactics  succeed.  In  some  courts  the  bigger  the 
liar,  the  smaller  the  fine.  I  found  after  I  had  been 
on  the  job  for  a  few  months,  that  my  own  vocabu- 
lary was  getting  rough,  and  far  from  lady-like. 
When  I  noticed  this  unconscious  use  of  the  lan- 
guage of  the  underworld,  it  was  difficult  to  lay  it 
aside. 

The  third  menace  to  the  morale  of  a  prohibition 
agent  is  the  constant  cheap  talk  and  reputation 
ruining  abuse  of  the  wets.  In  my  estimation  this 
species  of  abuse  is  the  most  dangerous  and  dis- 
heartening. I  have  had  people  inquire  as  to  how 
much  rum  I  had  in  my  own  cellar,  and  where  I  was 
banking  all  my  graft  money.  To  hear  some  talk 
three  or  four  or  five  months  on  the  job  should  have 

127 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

made  me  a  millionaire.  I  have  seen  agents  go  on  the 
witness  stand  with  sufficient  evidence  to  win  a  case 
and  through  the  clever  work  of  a  brilliant  opposing 
attorney,  get  so  mixed  in  their  testimony,  that  the 
case  was  lost,  and  then  see  the  poor  fellow  come 
off  the  stand,  crestfallen  and  disheartened  to  be  con- 
fronted by  the  jibing  remark,  "How  much  did  you 
make  for  selling  out  in  that  case"  ?  I  have  received 
letter  after  letter,  from  good  but  thoughtless  citi- 
zens, accusing  me  of  protecting  some  dive  in  some 
city  that  I  did  not  even  know  existed.  When  working 
fifteen  to  twenty  hours  a  day  with  a  force  that  was 
hardly  big  enough  to  cover  one  city,  let  alone  the 
entire  state,  I  have  been  freely  censored  for  not  be- 
ing everywhere  in  the  state  at  the  same  time.  Many 
times  I  have  sent  an  agent  in  to  a  city,  and  he  has 
done  excellent  work  cleaning  up  distilleries,  but  has 
had  no  success  getting  some  of  the  notorious  but 
cleverly  protected  bar-rooms.  He  would  be  imme- 
diately charged  with  hounding  the  small  fry,  and 
collecting  from  the  large  dealers.  Such  constant 
criticisms  and  accusations  are  apt  to  undermine  the 
morale  of  the  best  agent.  It  is  for  this  reason  that 
I  am  mentioning  these  temptations  trusting  that 
the  better  class  of  citizens  will  encourage  and  praise 
agents  who  appear  to  be  doing  their  duty  rather 
than  abuse  them  on  hearsay  evidence. 

The  least  any  organization  can  do,  which  really 
wants  to  better  conditions  in  its  own  city,  is  to 
appoint  a  committee  and  actually  find  out  what  the 
prohibition  and  the  police  departments  are  doing  in 
the  way  of  enforcement.  I  trust  that  the  readers  of 
this  book  will  at  least  give  my  successor  in  office 
the  benefit  of  the  doubt. 

Investigate  and  find  out  before  condemning.  If 
the  public  had  been  willing  to  investigate  conditions 
in  the  Massachusetts  department  without  waiting 
for  me  to  publicly  demand  such  an  investigation  my 
tenure  of  office  might  have  been  prolonged. 


128 


CARRIE-NATIONING  STILLS 

HUNTING  FOR,  CAPTURING  AND  CARRIE- 
NATIONING  STILLS. 
Chapter  XIII. 

If  I  was  to  advise  the  readers  of  this  book  on  the 
best  way  in  which  to  locate  a  still,  I  would  say 
"Look  for  a  piggery,  a  slaughter-house,  an  old 
abandoned  farmhouse,  or  some  disreputable  tene- 
ment-house in  the  slums  of  any  city  where  the 
natural  odors  are  so  great  that  the  smell  of  the 
mash  is  not  discernable." 

Moonshine  is  always  made  surreptiously,  and 
as  a  consequence,  under  the  most  unsanitary  con- 
ditions. Those  who  make  the  stuff  are  generally 
ignorant  foreigners,  who  are  anything  but  clean 
in  their  own  persons.  The  most  outrageous  con- 
coctions are  used  in  manufacturing  the  moonshine 
and  in  coloring  it  to  give  the  appearance  of  real 
whiskey  or  gin.  After  personally  inspecting  and 
destroying  a  number  of  hundred  stills,  none  of 
which  could  have  passed  inspection  by  the  most 
primitive  board  of  health,  I  have  often  wondered 
how  any  human  being  could  stomach  moonshine 
whiskey  and  still  live. 

It  may  be  improper  to  give  a  receipt  for  the  mak- 
ing of  "shine"  in  this  book,  but  the  process  is  so 
simple  and  the  ingredients  so  distasteful  that  I  will 
present  it  for  the  consideration  of  my  readers,  trust- 
ing that  it  will  tend  to  deter  rather  than  encour- 
age drinking.  Mash  is  ordinarily  made  from 
sugar,  water,  yeast  and  garbage.  It  is  customary 
to  borrow  garbage  from  the  neighbors  if  it  is  im- 
possible to  obtain  enough  from  the  family  pail. 
The  more  juicy  the  garbage,  the  better  the  mash, 
and  the  better  the  "shine."  The  garbage,  sugar, 
water  and  yeast  should  be  placed  in  an  open  recep- 
tacle— an  old  barrel  is  generally  the  more  sus- 
ceptible to  bugs  and  other  vermin.  This  mash 
or  swill — for  it  is  nothing  else — should  be  allowed 

129 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

to  stand  for  six  to  ten  days  in  order  to  give  the 
yeast  sufficient  time  to  work.  The  mash  is  then 
ready  for  use  in  the  still.  If  the  family  can  muster 
ten  gallons  of  swill  a  week,  it  is  safe  to  figure  on 
one  gallon  of  moonshine — that  is,  it  takes  about  ten 
parts  of  mash  for  one  part  of  *'shine." 

It  is  no  joke  when  I  say  that  mash  is  nothing 
more  nor  less  than  swill.  I  have  seen  banana  peel- 
ings, orange  peelings,  and  every  other  conceivable 
kind  of  juicy  refuse  in  the  barrels  of  mash.  It  is  a 
fact  that  much  better  moonshine  can  be  made  in 
the  summer  time  than  in  the  winter  time,  because 
the  barrels  of  mash,  or  garbage,  are  never  covered, 
and  the  flies  and  bugs  congregate  so  thickly  and 
are  so  juicy  that  they  add  very  materially  to  the 
product. 

I  have  found  stills  in  every  imaginable  kind  of 
unsanitary  conditions.  One  very  large  distillery  lo- 
cated in  Norfolk,  Massachusetts,  was  found  in  an 
old  slaughter-house.  An  old  church  deacon  lived 
within  two  hundred  yards  of  the  slaughter  house, 
but  never  had  detected  the  odor  of  the  mash  be- 
cause he  said  he  never  had  been  able  to  pass  the 
place  without  holding  on  to  his  nose.  Sixty  bar- 
rels of  mash  were  found  in  this  old  slaughter-house, 
without  a  screen  or  covering  of  any  kind.  The 
flies  were  so  thick  that  it  was  difficult  to  see  the 
mash.  The  water  for  the  mash  and  the  still  was 
pumped  out  of  an  old  spring  in  a  nearby  gulley. 
The  heads  and  hoofs  and  other  refuse  of  the  ani- 
mals killed  in  the  slaughter-house  had  been  thrown 
around  this  spring,  polluting  the  water  with  the 
most  deadly  poisons.  Such  minor  details  as  these, 
however,  did  not  bother  the  moonshiners.  They 
were  selling  their  product,  not  drinking  it. 

To  show  the  extent  to  which  some  habitual 
drinkers  will  go  in  order  to  get  a  drink,  I  found  two 
thirds  of  a  barrel  of  moonshine  whiskey  at  this 
place.  After  dumping  the  barrels  of  mash,  break- 
ing up   the  stills  and   barrels,  and  getting  pretty 

130 


CARRIE-NATIONING  STILLS 

much  covered  with  slough  from  head  to  foot,  my 
men  and  I  washed  up  in  the  moonshine.  After  our 
moonshine  bath,  when  my  back  was  turned,  an 
old  rummy  came  along-  and  stuck  his  head  into  the 
"shine"  clear  to  his  ears  and  started  drinking  it. 
To  hear  his  sigh  of  joy,  you  would  think  it  was  the 
best  whiskey  he  had  ever  tasted.  Such  characters 
are  hopeless.  The  only  thing  that  can  cure  them 
is  death,  and  if  they  continue  to  drink,  it  will  only 
be  a  short  time  before  the  final  call  is  sounded. 

The  family  wash  boiler  is  often  used  for  a  still 
one  night  and  for  the  family  wash  the  next  night. 
The  very  simplest  rules  of  sanitation  are  ignored 
by  the  distillers.  One  of  the  most  gruesome  fea- 
tures of  the  traffic  is  the  personal  filth  of  those 
operating  the  stills. 

Hunting  for  the  moonshiners  is  always  interest- 
ing. Running  a  distillery  is  precarious  because  of 
the  tell-tale  odor  of  the  mash,  which  is  very  dis- 
tinctive. Unusual  traffic  in  the  vicinity  of  certain 
dilapidated  buildings  is  often  the  clue  that  gives 
away  the  location  of  a  still.  Tips  from  disgruntled 
co-partners  or  from  those  who  have  imbibed  too 
freely  and  have  been  arrested  for  disorderly  con- 
duct or  have  become  sick  from  the  poisonous 
"shine",  are  other  ways  of  securing  information 
relative  to  stills.  Some  of  the  larger  moonshine 
plants  that  I  have  destroyed  were  found  in  old 
abandoned  farm  houses  off  the  main  road,  or  even 
in  wooded  sections  far  removed  from  any  habita- 
tions. Stills  have  to  be  located  near  a  water  supply, 
and  those  found  in  a  swamp  or  woods  are  generally 
near  a  stream  of  running  water.  Several  have  been 
found  by  noting  the  discoloration  of  the  water 
from  the  refuse  from  the  mash,  and  then  following 
the  stream  until  the  distillery  is  located. 

In  quite  a  number  of  cases  I  found  stills  pro- 
tected by  dogs,  not  the  same  human  dog  men- 
tioned in  the  chapter  on  bar-rooms,  but  actual,  fe- 
rocious canines.     At  one  place  a  number  of  such 

131 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

dogs  were  hitched  to  slide  rings  on  wires  in  such 
a  manner  that  the  barn  in  which  the  still  was  lo- 
cated was  completely  protected  by  the  dogs.  One 
still  located  in  the  vicinity  of  New  Bedford  in  the 
woods,  was  protected  by  bloodhounds  some  half 
mile  from  the  still.  Any  stranger  approaching 
was  bound  to  attract  the  attention  of  these  dogs, 
whose  baying  would  warn  the  distillers  of  danger. 
By  the  time  the  raiding  party  could  reach  the  loca- 
tion of  the  still,  those  in  charge  had  made  their 
get-a-way  with  the  still  and  "shine."  The  mash  bar- 
rels might  be  captured,  but  the  "shiners"  always 
known  where  to  get  a  new  outfit.  These  "shiners" 
were  finally  successfully  raided  by  detouring  through 
the  woods  and  catching  the  operators  from  the 
rear.  The  men  operating  stills  in  the  woods  seldom 
remain  in  any  one  location  for  any  great  length  of 
time  but  constantly  move  from  place  to  place  to 
avoid  detection. 

The  following  is  a  typical  capture  of  a  still:  I 
went  to  a  small  town  not  a  great  ways  from  Bos- 
ton and  with  the  assistance  of  one  of  the  town 
selectmen  secured  a  state  search  warrant.  We  im- 
mediately started  for  the  still,  because  the  select- 
man was  under  the  impression  that  another  mem- 
ber of  the  board  might  tip  off  the  culprits  before 
our  arrival.  It  took  less  than  fifteen  minutes  to 
reach  the  distillery,  but  in  spite  of  our  speed,  the  tip 
had  been  received  in  advance  of  our  arrival.  As 
we  approached  the  still,  on  a  thickly  wooded  road, 
I  heard  a  noise  in  the  woods  which  I  thought  at 
first  was  an  animal  running.  Then  I  noticed  a  man 
hiding  behind  some  shrubbery.  Ordering  an  agent 
to  follow  me  I  went  after  the  man,  after  telling  the 
selectman  and  his  constable  to  seize  the  still.  The 
agent  and  I  fired  over  the  head  of  the  man  who 
was  trying  to  escape  through  the  woods,  and  soon 
rounded  up  three  foreigners.  We  brought  our 
prisoners  back  to  the  distillery  and  obtained  their 
admission  that  they  had  been  operating  it.    Two 

132 


CARRIE-NATIONING  STILLS 

fifty-gallon  stills  in  complete  operation  were  found 
and  six  great  vats  of  mash.  I  should  say  that  each 
of  these  vats  held  at  least  four  or  five  hundred 
gallons  of  mash. 

The  work  of  destroying  stills  is  dirty  and  diffi- 
cult, but  intensely  satisfying  to  a  genuine  prohi- 
bitionist. In  this  particular  case,  I  borrowed  a  pair 
of  boots,  and  an  ax,  and  in  true  Carrie-Nation  style 
knocked  everything  galley-west.  The  plant  was 
located  in  an  old,  abandoned  farm  house,  absolutely 
vile  from  the  fumes  of  the  still  and  mash,  and  lit- 
erally filled  with  flies  and  other  vermin. 

According  to  the  admissions  of  those  running 
the  still,  it  had  been  in  operation  about  a  month, 
during  which  time  no  attempt  had  been  made  to 
even  sweep  the  floor.  From  the  looks  of  the  for- 
eigners operating  the  plant,  bathing  and  personal 
cleanliness  were  lost  arts.  These  men  were  taken 
to  court  and  convicted,  each  man  paying  a  fine 
of  one  hundred  dollars,  and  I  imagine  within  a 
week  had  resumed  operations  in  some  other  lo- 
cality. A  jail  sentence  is  the  only  cure  for  such 
law  violators. 

One  still  that  I  captured  in  the  woods  was  pro- 
tected by  a  watch  tower,  which  consisted  of  a 
high  tree  with  a  platform  some  thirty  feet  from  the 
ground.  From  this  vantage  point  the  "shiners" 
could  watch  the  only  road  approaching  the  place 
for  a  mile  or  more.  This  place  was  captured  by 
leaving  our  automobile  over  a  mile  away  and  walk- 
ing through  the  woods.  As  a  rule  moonshiners  put 
up  little  resistance  when  captured  as  they  are 
usually  saturated  with  the  fumes  from  the  distil- 
lery, and  in  many  instances  two-thirds  drunk.  Such 
men  put  up  a  tremendous  bluff  as  to  their  ferocity, 
for  its  effect  on  citizens  living  in  the  vicinity,  but 
are  cowards  at  heart. 

I  remember  one  place  in  particular  in  which  I 
found  thirty-two  barrels  of  prune  mash.  Prunes, 
yeast  and  molasses  being  used  in  some  cases  to 

133 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

make  rum.  I  was  searching  for  this  still  in  com- 
pany with  one  of  my  agents  when  we  noticed  from 
a  slight  elevation  an  old  house  which  had  been 
burned  to  the  ground  with  a  man  apparently  patrol- 
ling the  premises  with  a  gun  over  his  shoulder. 
This  looked  a  bit  suspicious,  so  we  started  on  the 
run  for  the  house !  When  we  arrived  on  the  scene 
the  man  with  the  gun  had  disappeared.  In  the 
cellar  of  the  old  house  we  located  the  still  and 
mash.  It  was  one  of  the  most  unsanitary  places 
imaginable,  but  of  course  was  sufficiently  clean  for 
the  manufacture  of  moonshine.  The  man  with  the 
gun  was  as  much  afraid  of  federal  officers  as  the 
near-by  citizens  were  frightened  at  his  gun.  In 
other  words,  the  only  reason  for  this  sentinel  was 
to  bluff  the  local  people  so  that  no  information 
would  be  given  relative  to  the  still. 

Raiding  in  the  slums  of  a  city  is  quite  exciting 
and  generally  as  thrilling  as  some  movie  scenarios. 
Large  crowds  usually  follow  such  operations.  I 
have  very  vivid  recollections  of  thirteen  raids  in 
East  Cambridge,  Massachusetts,  one  evening  in  a 
driving  snow  storm.  The  police  of  Cambridge 
rendering  valient  assistance.  Place  after  place  was 
rushed,  Hquor  confiscated,  those  in  charge  arrested 
and  bundled  into  the  patrol  wagon  for  a  quick  trip 
to  the  station  with  whatever  contraband  liquor 
seized,  while  the  raiding  party  kept  on  for  another 
capture.  Barrels  of  mash,  stills,  and  other  para- 
phernalia were  heaved  out  of  second  and  third 
story  windows  with  the  utmost  abandon.  For 
energetic  endeavor  and  willingness  to  go  through, 
there  is  not  a  police  department  in  Massachusetts 
that  can  outdo  the  Cambridge  police. 

Throwing  a  fifty  gallon  barrel  of  mash  out  of  a 
third  or  fourth  story  window  is  a  joy  that  comes 
but  seldom  to  the  average  man.  It  was  my  pleasure 
to  throw  no  less  than  fifty-five  barrels  from  a  third- 
story  window  on  one  occasion  and  a  lesser  number 
on  innumerable  raids.    A  fifty  gallon  barrel  of  mash 

134 


CARRIE-NATIONING  STILLS 

makes  a  tremendous  splash  when  hitting  the 
ground,  the  contents  flying  in  every  direction.  No 
Fourth  of  July  celebration  could  be  more  exciting 
to  a  man  who  hates  the  sight  and  smell  of  moon- 
shine. Every  time  a  barrel  is  heaved  out  the  win- 
dow the  raider  can  cry  "There  goes  five  gallons 
more  of  potential  moonshine." 

Hunting  for  stills  in  the  middle  of  the  night 
brings  all  sorts  of  unusual  experiences.  One  time 
at  midnight  my  raiding  party  got  lost  in  a  ceme- 
tery, and  it  seemed  for  a  time  as  if  there  was 
no  road  leading  out  of  this  city  of  tombstones. 
Many  times  doors  had  to  be  smashed  in  and  par- 
titions torn  down  in  order  to  get  at  the  "shiner" 
before  he  could  destroy  the  evidence. 

I  shall  never  forget  one  experience  in  Walpole. 
I  had  been  told  that  there  was  a  man  operating  a 
still  in  an  old  farm  house  who  was  reputed  to  be 
a  murderer,  and  a  very  dangerous  character.  The 
raiding  party  arrived  at  his  house  at  eleven  o'clock 
on  a  pitch  dark  night,  all  the  doors  were  locked. 
I  pounded  on  the  side  door.  A  man  came  to  the 
window  directly  over  my  head,  and  bellowed  in 
a    tremendously    deep    heavy    bass   voice    that   he 

would  shoot  the  whole crowd  if  we  did  not 

vamoose  in  short  order.  With  a  crash  a  husky 
agent  shoved  his  shoulder  through  the  door,  and 
we  rushed  into  the  domain  of  the  bad  man.  On  the 
second  floor  I  found  a  little,  old,  decrepit,  man 
who  could  not  have  harmed  a  ten-year-old  boy. 
He  was  the  possessor  of  the  terrible  voice. 

The  women,  especially  Polack  women,  are  often 
harder  to  handle  than  the  men.  The  feminine  dis- 
tiller is  liable  to  throw  or  do  anything.  They  are 
oftentimes  good  actors  and  are  not  above  any 
strategy.  At  one  place  I  raided  the  woman  ap- 
parently became  hysterical,  carrying  on  terribly. 
After  searching  the  house  and  finding  nothing,  I 
noticed  that  this  hysterical  woman,  although  ap- 
parently in  a  bad  way,  never  left  the  front  of  the 

135 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

fire-place.  Upon  examining  the  fire-place  the  "shine" 
was  found  concealed  behind  some  loose  bricks. 
The  woman  immediately  recovered  from  her  hys- 
teria and  proved  her  ability  as  a  purveyor  of  cuss 
words. 

In  another  case  in  which  four  gallons  of  "shine" 
in  glass  jars  was  found  the  woman  was  very  friendly 
and  appeared  quite  reconciled  to  her  fate.  Ordering 
my  chauffeur  to  take  two  of  the  jars,  and  picking 
up  the  other  two,  one  in  either  hand,  I  started  to 
leave  the  house.  No  arrest  was  made,  as  I  found 
that  her  husband  owned  the  place,  and  so  sum- 
monsed him  for  appearance  in  court.  As  I  started 
to  cross  the  kitchen,  like  a  bolt  out  of  a  clear  sky, 
the  woman  grabbed  a  large  carving  knife  and  made 
a  dive  at  me.  I  barely  had  time  to  shove  one  of  the 
jars  between  the  knife  and  myself,  and  thus  un- 
doubtedly prevented  serious  injury. 

Several  elaborate  stills  have  been  found  in  under- 
ground caves.  One  of  the  best  outfits  was  located 
in  Methuen,  Mass.,  near  the  New  Hampshire  line. 
The  entrance  to  the  tunnel  leading  to  the  distillery 
was  in  the  cellar  of  an  old  house  completely  camou- 
flaged with  dirt,  bricks  and  burlap.  After  finding 
the  way  into  the  tunnel,  it  was  found  that  the 
subterranian  channel  was  about  thirty  feet  long. 
At  the  farther  end  a  good  sized  room  or  cellar  was 
found  with  a  large  quantity  of  "shine".  This  under- 
ground room  was  carefully  cemented  and  rein- 
forced to  guard  against  a  possible  cave-in.  Com- 
munity stills  are  frequent.  That  is  a  still  that  is 
owned  by  a  number  of  "shiners"  and  passed  around 
for  the  use  of  the  various  families. 

Stills  were  frequently  found  behind  false  par- 
titions ;  in  one  instance  the  owner  of  a  house  had 
carefully  papered  the  wall  to  avoid  detection.  An 
interesting  find  was  made  in  a  cache  in  an  old 
garage,  the  cache  having  been  covered  with  planks, 
then  bricks,  and  finally  with  dirt  and  rubbish.  The 
clue  that  led  to  the  capture  of  this  liquor  was  the 

136 


CARRIE-NATIONING  STILLS 

smoothness  with  which  the  dirt  above  the  cache 
had  been  patted  down. 

Another  very  unusual  incident  was  a  Chicopee 
experience.  When  my  raiding  party  rushed  into 
the  kitchen,  the  lady  in  charge  ran  into  the  bed- 
room. I  followed  her  as  I  suspected  by  her  actions 
that  the  evidence  was  in  that  room.  When  I 
reached  the  bedroom,  the  woman  was  in  bed.  I 
knew  that  she  was  fully  dressed,  and  not  being 
able  to  account  for  her  sudden  desire  to  go  to  bed, 
pulled  her  out  none  too  ceremoniously.  I  found 
that  she  had  taken  the  teapot  which  was  filled  with 
liquor  with  her  and  was  pouring  it  into  the  bed  in 
an  endeavor  to  destroy  the  evidence. 

On  one  day,  I  walked  into  what  looked  to  be  a 
dark  closet  but  proved  to  be  a  blind  stairway,  when 
I  landed  at  the  bottom,  I  was  thoroughly  convinced 
that  it  was  not  a  closet.  The  same  day  I  fell  into 
a  blind  brook  and  unwittingly  investigated  a  bee 
hive.  Anything  except  the  expected  is  liable  to 
happen  to  a  prohibition  agent  at  any  time.  The 
life  of  a  federal  officer  is  hazardous  and  strenuous 
enough  for  the  most  fastidious,  and  it  is  for  this 
reason  that  I  urge  the  readers  of  this  book  to  give 
my  successor  in  office  and  his  agents  every  con- 
sideration. Their  job  is  not  only  dangerous,  but 
disagreeable  in  many  respects,  and  requires  a  tre- 
mendous amount  of  night  work  if  results  of  any 
consequence  are  to  be  obtained.  Back  up  your 
law  enforcement  officials;  they  are  under  paid  and 
over  worked. 


137 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

THE  PRETEXT  FOR  MY  REMOVAL 

Chapter  XIV. 

The  actual  incident  which  led  to  my  dismissal  and 
offered  the  pretext  for  the  charge  of  indiscretion, 
insubordination  and  temperamentality,  was  the  fol- 
lowing speech,  which  I  made  at  the  Park  Street 
Church  on  January  9,  before  the  Evangelical  Alliance 
of  New  England  and  the  Lord's  Day  League. 

I  am  very  much  gratified  with  this  tremendous  re- 
ception, but  do  not  feel  that  it  is  for  Wilson  but  for 
law  enforcement.  It  merely  happens  that  I  am  the 
representative  at  the  present  moment  of  law  enforce- 
ment and  I  do  not  want  you,  and  I  do  not  intend  my- 
self, to  lose  sight  of  the  fact  that  this  demonstration  is 
for  the  Cause,  not  for  me.  I  believe  thoroughly  in  the 
rigid  enforcement  of  the  18th  amendment  and  I  also 
believe  in  the  enforcement  of  every  other  amendment 
and  of  the  constitution  itself.  The  fourth  amendment 
is  one  of  the  greatest  handicaps  to  the  enforcement  of 
the  18th.  Nevertheless  I  consider  the  4th  just  as  im- 
portant as  the  18th  and  do  not  propose  under  any  con- 
ditions to  violate  it  or  allow  my  men  to  violate  it. 

There  are  certain  conditions  in  prohibition  enforce- 
ment in  Massachusetts  that  must  be  rectified  immediate- 
ly if  we  are  to  have  honest  and  genuine  enforcement  of 
the  prohibitory  amendment  in  this  State.  I  am  not  as 
much  concerned  with  the  obstacles  encountered  from 
without  the  department  as  I  am  from  those  within.  I 
am  conscious  of  the  fact  that  those  who  would  deport 
me  to  Siberia  where  my  enforcement  activities  would 
not  be  so  irksome  to  certain  wet  advocates  in  this  Com- 
monwealth do  not  care  publicly  to  request  my  dismissal, 
but  that  secretly  they  are  moving  Heaven  and  earth  to 
bring  about  my  removal.  One  means  they  have  taken, 
a  mighty  effective  one,  is  that  of  hampering  prohibition 
activities  by  giving  me  no  facilities  with  which  to  prose- 
cute my  work.  Since  the  Quincy  House  raid  my  entire 
department  has  been  removed  from  the  Old  South 
Building  and  jammed  into  one  room  about  15x30,  with 
only  one  telephone  attached  to  the  switchboard  of  the 
State  Director.  Formerly  I  had  four  rooms  and  two 
independent  trunk  lines  and  had  great  difficulty  hand- 
ling the  business  of  the  office.  At  the  present  time  it  is 
practically  impossible  to  function.  Conditions  are  so 
serious,  gentlemen,  that  I  demand  that  you   do  some- 

138 


PRETEXT  FOR  MY  REMOVAL 

thing  besides  applaud  my  efforts  to   enforce  the  pro- 
hibitory amendment. 

You  should  not  accept  my  statements  without  an 
investigation.  The  least  that  can  be  done  is  to  appoint 
a  committee  to  impartially  investigate  all  conditions 
pertaining  to  the  prohibition  department  of  Massachu- 
setts and  then  take  definite  action.  If  you  find  that  I 
am  of  no  value,  demand  my  scalp.  If  you  find  that 
someone  else  is  handicapping  the  work,  demand  his  dis- 
charge. 

This  challenge  was  immediately  accepted,  and  a 
committee  consisting  of  the  Rev.  Wm.  M.  MacNair, 
chairman  of  the  Massachusetts  Federation  of  Church- 
es Law  Enforcement  Committee,  the  Rev.  Frank 
Kingdon  of  the  Tremont  Street  Methodist  Church, 
the  Rev.  David  M.  Lockrow,  of  the  Tremont  Temple 
Baptist  Church,  and  Dr.  A.  Z.  Conrad  of  the  Park 
Street  Church  were  appointed.  Dr.  Conrad  was  the 
presiding  officer  at  the  Park  Street  meeting  at  which 
I  demanded  an  investigation,  and  on  a  vote  of  those 
present  appointed  the  above  committee  and  at  the 
request  of  the  committee  served  ex-officio. 

The  committee  investigated,  and  unhesitatingly 
confirmed  my  charges.  Before  any  definite  steps 
could  be  taken,  however,  other  than  the  preparation 
of  a  preliminary  report,  I  was  summonsed  to 
Washington  and  discharged. 

The  findings  of  the  committee  is  well  depicted  in 
the  following  extract  from  a  sermon  delivered  by 
the  Rev.  Frank  Kingdon  on  the  evening  of  January 
22,  to  a  crowded  house  at  his  Tremont  Street  Church. 

The  plain  people  of  Massachusetts  want  prohibition 
enforced.  The  removal  of  Mr.  Wilson  as  prohibition  en- 
forcement agent  in  this  state  raises  the  issue  as  to 
whether  the  enforcemnt  of  prohibition  is  to  meet  the 
will  of  the  people  or  the  will  of  the  politicians.  The 
disagreement  between  Mr.  Wilson  and  Mr.  Potter  has 
been  made  a  pretext  for  the  removal  of  a  fearless 
official. 

"Mr.  Potter  is  an  estimable  Christian  gentleman  of 
a  somewhat  retiring  disposition.  He  is  a  beautiful 
Persian  cat  in  an  ofiice  that  demands  a  buldog.  His  one 
qualification  for  the  position  of  director  of  prohibition 

189 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

is  that  he  is  acceptable  to  the  politicians  headed  by  that 
arch  enemy  of  prohibition,  Henry  Cabot  Lodge. 

"Commissioner  Haynes  has  bowed  to  the  politicians. 
He  has  backed  up  fair  words  with  foul  cowardice.  He 
has  removed  the  only  man  in  this  state  making  any 
effort  to  enforce  prohibition.  Now  is  the  time  for  the 
people  to  speak.  We  indorse  most  heartily  the  work 
of  Harold  D.  Wilson  and  we  ought  to  demand  his  rein- 
statement. Send  your  message  to  Washington  in  thrae 
words,  'We  want  Wilson.'  " 

This  committee  fought  to  the  last  ditch  for  my 
retention  in  the  service,  and  finally  when  they  found 
that  certain  politicians  had  the  upper  hand,  called  a 
law  enforcement  meeting  at  Tremont  Temple,  Mon- 
day noon,  January  30th.  Some  2500  ardent  prohibi- 
tionists jammed  into  the  Temple  at  this  time,  and  made 
the  whole  building  vibrate  with  their  cheers  for  law 
enforcement,  I  do  not  wish  my  readers  to  misunder- 
stand the  object  or  temper  of  this  meeting.  It  was 
not  a  Wilson  demonstration,  but  an  out  and  out  en- 
dorsement of  genuine  impartial  law  enforcement 
from  the  Top  Down  rather  than  from  the  Bottom 
Part  Way  Up. 

The  following  resolutions  were  unanimously 
adopted  at  the  opening  of  the  meeting: 

*'l.  We  commend  Harold  D.  Wilson  for  his  fear- 
less enforcement  of  prohibition. 

2.  We  commend  him  for  calling  public  attention 
to  the  hampering  of  conditions  under  which  he  was 
obliged  to  work,  thus  making  law  enforcement  a  live 
issue. 

3.  We  call  for  MORE,  and  not  less,  enforcement 
from  the  top  down  rather  than  from  the  bottom 
part  way  up. 

4.  We  call  upon  the  Legislature  now  in  session  to 
bring  the  laws  of  Massachusetts  into  harmony  with 
the  18th  Amendment  to  the  Constitution  of  the 
United  States." 

A  fifth  resolution  was  passed  pledging  the  whole 
liearted  support  of  the  meeting  to  my  successor  in 
office  and  I   heartily  concurred  in  this    resolution. 

140 


PRETEXT  FOR  MY  REMOVAL 

The  important  thing  now  is  law  enforcement.  It 
makes  no  difference  whether  it  is  Wilson  or  someone 
else  who  actually  does  the  enforcing,  as  long  as  it  is 
done  thoroughly  and  impartially.  Those  believing 
in  the  strict  enforcement  of  the  prohibitory  amend- 
ment must  forget  personalities  and  fight  shoulder  to 
shoulder  with  those  entrusted  with  the  carrying  out 
of  the  provisions  of  this  law  if  worth  while  results 
are  to  be  obtained. 

The  speech  of  the  presiding  officer,  Dr.  Conrad, 
was  a  master  piece  and  for  that  reason  is  published 
in  full. 
ADDRESS  AT  MASS  MEETING  TREMONT  TEMPLE 

By  Dr.  A.  Z.  Conrad   of  the  Park  St.  Church,  Boston. 
January  30,   1922. 
Friends  of  Prohibition: 

About  a  month  ago,  in  a  Public  Meeting  in  Park 
Street  Church,  of  the  Lord's  Day  League  and  Evange- 
lical Alliance,  a  Committee  was  appointed  to  ascertain 
the  status  of  Prohibition  Enforcement  conditions  in 
Massachusetts.  This  Committee  was  appointed  with  the 
understanding  that  they  would  report  to  the  public. 
One  brief  report  has  been  made  in  print.  This  assem- 
bly has  been  called  to  receive  the  report  of  the  Commit- 
tee and  to  assist  in  increasing  the  public  sentiment  in  this 
State,  which  demands  an  impartial  unprejudiced,  vigor- 
ous enforcement  of  the  18th  Amendment  in  this  State. 

The  very  first  essential  at  the  present  time  is  that 
Massachusetts  shall  be  brought  into  alignment  with  the 
Constitution  of  the  United  State.  Any  State  that  de- 
clines such  an  alignment  is  in  a  condition  of  incipient 
rebellion.  There  is  no  halting  place  between  loyalty 
to  the  Constitution  and  nullification.  There  is  no  such 
thing  as  "No  Man's  Land"  in  this  great  fight  for 
righteousness  and  law.  Any  party  encouraging  the 
violation  of  the  18th  amendment  by  declining  to  throw 
its  energies  and  influences  toward  State  loyaty  and 
enforcement  is  a  menace  to  the  republic  and  encourag- 
ing anarchy  in  every  other  kind  of  social,  civic  and  po- 
litical activity.  An  aroused  and  awakened  collective 
conscience  in  this  State,  together  with  an  intense  con- 
viction, insists  that  the  present  Legislature  speedily 
enact  into  law,  the  bill  already  before  it,  which  will 
bring  Massachusetts  out  of  her  anomalous  attitude  into 
one  of  constructive  loyalty. 

141 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

No  one  is  blind  to  tlie  extreme  difBculties  attending 
the  enforcement  of  the  Prohibition  Law.  On  the  other 
hand,  any  man  is  blind  as  a  bat,  who  can  not  see  the 
utter  impossibility  of  any  return  to  the  old  regime;  any 
reversal  of  the  national  decision  which  adopted  the  18th 
Amendment.  Therefore,  there  is  but  one  thing  to  do, 
to  insist,  and  to  proceed  with  determined  effort  to  en- 
force the  law. 

Not  only  should  every  facility  be  given  the  Enforce- 
ment Agent  and  Director,  but  he  should  be  backed  to 
the  limit  by  the  well-thinking  people  of  this  State.  We 
believe  in  a  square  deal.  The  people  of  Massachusetts 
regard  the  men  who  are  entrusted  with  the  enforcement 
of  prohibition,  whether  in  Washington  or  Massachusetts, 
as  servants  of  the  people. 

The  uncrowned  king  in  America  is  public  sentiment 
and  popular  will.  We  therefore  urge  the  people  of 
Massachusetts  to  make  their  righteous  demands  for 
aggressive  enforcement  so  apparent  that  those  in  posi- 
tions of  power,  will  not  dare  to  refuse  their  obedience 
to  the  public  will. 

Common  justice  demands  recognition  of  faithful  ser- 
vice whenever  it  is  given.  Our  sense  of  fairness  re- 
quires that  we  should  commend  with  all  heartiness,  the 
earnest  and  vigorous  activity  of  Harold  D.  Wilson  in 
the  fulfillmen  of  his  duty  as  enforcement  agent  in 
Massachusetts.  Mr.  Wilson  undertook  his  task  with 
courage,  with  sincerity  and  with  fidelity.  Without  im- 
pugning anybody's  motives,  there  still  remains  the  fact 
that  he  was  hampered  in  his  activities  and  was  restive 
under  the  restraints  and  limitations  which  prevented 
the  carrying  out  of  his  ideals.  He  recognized  that  the 
task  was  a  difficult  one.  He  knew  only  too  well  the 
characteristics  of  the  enemies  of  Prohibition,  and  there- 
fore demanded  effective  weapons  with  which  he  could 
put  to  rout  the  enemy.  He  was  asked  to  build  a  pro- 
hibition highway  straight  through  the  State  of  Massa- 
chusetts. When  offered  a  kitchen  rolling  pin  he  vigor- 
ously demanded  a  steam  roller.  When  starting  out  in 
the  prosecution  of  his  work,  he  found  one  of  the  imple- 
ments which  was  in  general  use  was  a  feather  duster. 
He  demanded  instead  a  big  stick,  and  when  he  began  to 
wield  his  big  stick,  he  interfered  with  the  peace  and 
comfort  of  some  heads  that  came  in  his  way.  In  looking 
over  his  equipment  to  discover  remedies  for  the 
grievous  wrongs  and  violations  of  Prohibition  in  this 
State,  he  found  rose  water,  eau  de  cologne,  Florida 
water,  but  he  knew  with  bootleggers  in  every  alley, 
and    bandits    at    the    dividing    of    every    highway    in 

142 


PRETEXT  FOR  MY  REMOVAL 

Massachusetts  what  he  needed  was  "Rough  on  Rats?" 
These  things  naturally  startled  people  who  were  accus- 
tomed to  a  quiet,  orderly,  and  in  general  a  gumshoe 
method  of  making  attacks  on  the  enemy. 

When  the  enforcement  officer  found  it  impossible  to 
get  action  removing  the  limitations  which  were  imposed, 
he  was  like  an  eagle  in  a  canary  bird  cage,  told  to  sing, 
look  pleasant,  and  be  good.  Instead  of  singing  he  tore 
down  his  cage.  When  informed  that  he  was  the  tail 
and  not  the  head  of  the  prohibition  mastiff,  he  showed 
his  molars  and  demonstrated  that  he  would  not  simply 
idly  wag  and  wait,  and  that  until  there  was  some  better 
reason  for  his  disadvantageous  situation  given,  he  would 
be  at  least  part  head  in  running  down  law  violators. 

It  must  be  admitted  that  Mr.  Wilson  was  not  always 
ladylike.  He  never  sent  his  card  in  advance  of  his  un- 
invited visits,  but  there  was  no  doubt  who  had  been 
there  when  he  left.  He  was  trying  to  lift  Prohibition 
out  of  the  "pink  tea"  class. 

He  took  his  job  seriously.  Not  one  breath  of  sus- 
picion has  ever  been  breathed  as  to  his  integrity,  his 
virility  and  his  effectiveness  in  getting  results.  He 
threw  the  energies  of  a  red-blooded,  one  hundred  per 
cent  prohibitionist  into  his  work.  He  surrounded  him- 
self with  men  who  were  avowed  prohibitionists  and 
above  graft  or  compromise. 

The  biggest  single  Prohibition  act  in  this  State  since 
the  18th  Amendment  was  passed,  was  the  unceremoni- 
ous interruption  of  the  Bacchanalian  orgy  and  Belt- 
shazzar  feast  at  the  Quincy  House.  The  greatest  com- 
pliment paid  Mr.  Wilson  during  his  duties  as  enforce- 
ment officer  was  that  he  was  not  invited  to  that  law- 
defying,  Constitution-breaking  event.  When  he  ex- 
ploded that  bombshell  he  had  committed  the  unpardon- 
able sin.  Those  responsible  for  the  Quincy  House  revel 
were  filled  with  wrath.  -So  in  sacred  story,  we  read, 
were  those  who  violated  the  sanctities  of  the  Temple, 
when  One  clothed  with  authority,  with  a  whip  of  small 
cords  drove  them  from  the  sacred  precincts. 

That  raid  should  have  been  followed  by  the  most  un- 
equivocal condemnation  of  those  who  staged  the  affair, 
by  every  temperance  organization,  and  every  guest  who 
had  been  victimized,  and  once  and  for  all  the  Rpublican 
party  should  have  dismissed  from  its  leadership  men 
who  deliberately  brought  discredit  upon  it.  I  say  this 
as  a  life-long  Republican. 

Mr.  Wilson  has  never  slumbered  on  the  guard.  He 
has  sacrificed  himself  to  the  best  and  greatest  of  causes, 

143 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

the  caxuie  which  is  greater  than  any  man  or  group  of 
men. 

The  successor  to  Mr.  Wilson's  office  will  find  no 
heartier  supporters  and  none  more  loyal  than  those  who 
have  applauded  Mr.  Wilson's  honest  efforts  in  impartial 
law  enforcement.  The  Prohibition  enemies  in  this  State 
are  counting  without  their  host  if  they  think  there  will 
be  any  break  in  the  solidarity  of  the  law  enforcement 
body  in  Massachusetts. 

The  Committee  that  was  delegated  to  inquire  into  the 
iProhibition  Enforcement  situation,  neither  asked  nor 
received  any  confidences  which  might  not  and  would  not 
be  given  at  any  time  to  any  citizen  or  group  of  citizens 
in  this  State  who  would  visit  the  offices  of  the  men  en- 
trusted with  Prohibition  Enforcement.  Men  intent  up- 
on the  performance  of  duty  would  be  glad  if  a  larger 
public  interest  were  shown  in  the  work  they  are  en- 
deavoring to  accomplish. 

The  18th  Amendment  will  neither  be  modified  nor 
eliminated  until  grass  grows  roots  upward  and  water 
runs  up  hill.  It  is  a  fight,  a  long  fight,  a  hard  tight,  and 
a  fight  to  the  finish,  and  we  are  sure  to  win,  because 
right  is  right  and  God  is  on  His  throne. 

We  want  action.  We  want  it  to  be  aggressive.  We 
want  it  to  be  made  impossible  for  the  efforts  of  En- 
forcement officers  to  be  nullified  by  any  one  whose 
sympathies  are  with  law  breakers. 

Massachusetts,  come  into  your  own!  Demand  that 
your  escutcheon  be  unstained!  Believers  in  Prohibition 
are  intent  on  your  honor.  Let  the  voice  of  righteous- 
ness be  heard  throughout  the  State. 

Prohibition  must  and  will  be  effectively  enforced 
when  the  people  make  their  will  the  real  enforcement 
power  in  every  city,  village  and  hamlet. 

A.  Z.  CONRAD. 

My  reasons  for  demanding  a  public  investigation 
are  clearly  set  forth  in  the  following  letter  of  Janu- 
ary 14,  1922: 

January  14,  1922. 
Major  Roy  A.  Haynes, 
Federal  Prohibition  Commissioner, 
Washington,  D.   C. 
Dear  Mr.  Haynes: 

Your  communication  of  the  12th  at  hand  and  contents 
carefully    noted. 

I  am  very  sorry  if  I  have  said  or  been  reported  as 
at^-j  'ig  anything;  th.t  is  embarrasing  to  my  Chief.  I  ap- 
pi  ciate   the   titi^^endous   difficulties    under   which   you 

144 


PRETEXT  FOR  MY  REMOVAL 

labor,  and  am  anxious  to  be  a  constructive  and  helpful 
part  of  your  machine. 

I  have  been  giving  the  best  that  is  in  me  to  prohibi- 
tion enforcement  during  the  past  six  months,  and  have 
been  getting  absolutely  no  cooperation  from  the  State 
Director  in  Massachusetts.  The  harder  I  have  worked 
and  the  more  I  have  accomplished,  the  less  I  have  had 
in  the  way  of  cooperation  and  facilities  for  the  prosecu- 
tion of  my  work. 

I  have  appealed  repeatedly  to  Washington  but  each 
time  when  a  crisis  has  arisen.  Mi*.  Potter  has  emitted 
a  superabundance  of  high-faluting,  meaningless  phrase- 
ology— ^has  smiled  serenely — has  called  me  Harold — 
and  then  has  continued  to  ride  me  as  soon  as  the  danger 
of  an  eruption  has  passed. 

The  removal  on  the  busiest  day  of  the  year,  Decem- 
ber 31st,  to  impossible  quarters  with  practically  no 
telephone  service,  while  IMr.  Potter  and  his  help  have 
had  the  best  of  facilities,  (the  State  Director's  own 
private  office  being  as  large  as  the  room  allotted  to 
the  entire  field  force)  was  the  last  drop  in  the  bucket. 

I  appealed  to  you  for  assistance  December  28  and 
again  on  January  4,  both  by  letters  and  by  wire.  No 
response  was  received.  My  most  urgent  request  was 
for  permission  to  come  to  Washington  where  the  diffi- 
culty could  be  talked  over  first  hand.  With  no  remedy 
in  sight  I  had  three  courses  to  pursue: 

1.  I  might  continue  to  pose  as  a  Federal  Prohibition 
Officer  in  Massachusetts  with  absolutely  no  facilitites 
for  the  prosecution  of  my  work  and  thus  betray  those 
who  have  repeatedly  expressed  their  confidence  in  my 
activities. 

2.  I  could  resign  and  thus  quit  in  the  face  of  op- 
position. 

3.  I  could  fight,  demanding  a  public  investigation, 
trusting  that  I  would  not  so  seriously  insult  my  Wash- 
ington friends  that  I  would  be  fired  forthwith. 

I  did  not  go  off  half  cocked  in  this  matter,  as  I  de- 
liberately weighed  the  consequences.  I  knew  that  many 
were  hoping  that  I  would  take  the  bit  in  my  mouth  and 
fight  so  strenuously  that  you  and  the  other  public  offi- 
cials in  Washington  would  be  insulted  by  my  audacity 
and  thus  compelled  to  take  action. 

I  have  acquired  a  reputation  for  being  radical,  im- 
patient, under  restraint,  etc.,  etc.  Considering  the 
gang  that  I  am  fighting  and  the  methods  that  they  have 
resorted  to  you  will  have  to  admit  that  I  have  made 
very  few  false  moves  to  date.  The  best  proof  of  this 
statement  is  the  fact  that  I  am  still  out  of  jail  with  no 

145 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

law  suits  pending.  Two-fisted  men  are  needed,  not  only 
to  capture  the  bootleggers  but  to  arouse  public  senti- 
ment. 

I  am  very  sorry  if  I  have  acted  so  drastically  that 
I  have  embarrassed  or  insulted  you,  as  I  have  the  ut- 
most confidence  in  my  Chief  in  Washington,  and  you 
may  rest  assured  that  if  you  will  remove  some  of  the 
obstacles  under  which  I  have  been  fretting  the  past  six 
months,  you  will  never  have  any  occasion  to  regret  my 

Massachusetts  activities.  

Very  sincerely,   HAROLD  D.  WILSON. 

True  to  the  prediction  in  the  above  letter,  the 
Washington  authorities  seized  upon  my  challeng-e 
for  an  investigation  as  a  pretext  for  charging  me 
with  being  indiscreet,  insubordinate  and  temper- 
mentally  unfit. 

My  demand  for  an  investigation  was  high  treasja. 
Federal  business  is  not  public  business.  What  right 
has  a  mere  voter  such  as  Dr.  Conrad  to  enter  a 
Federal  office.  He  is  only  a  tax  payer.  Congress 
pays  the  bills,  with  the  money  of  the  tax  payer,  of 
course,  but  that  does  not  give  Mr.  Average  Citizen 
any  right  to  ascertain  how  his  money  is  being  spent. 

The  "pols"  saw  in  my  demand  for  a  public  inves- 
tigation an  opportunity  to  charge  incompatibility  of 
temperament.  They  felt  that  if  they  could  get  rid 
of  such  a  recklessly  indiscreet,  undisceming  prohibi- 
tionist they  could  carry  on  at  will. 

They  did  not  realize,  however,  that  in  giving  me 
the  grand  bounce  for  being  too  energetic  in  the  per- 
formance of  my  sworn  duty  they  were  focusing 
public  opinion  upon  genuine  law  enforcement.  They 
succeeded  in  downing  one  man,  but  in  so  doing  awak- 
ened thousands  of  law  abiding  citizens. 

The  wet  politicians  have  not  only  lost  out  in  their 
deliberate  attempt  to  prevent  honest,  genuine,  im- 
partial law  enforcment,  but  they  have  lost  their  self- 
perpetuating  right  to  feed  from  the  public  treasury, 
that  is,  they  have  lost  the  confidence  of  the  electorate 
and  with  said  confidence,  the  necessary  votes  to  con- 
tinue in  office. 

146 


MY  ALLEGED  INSUBORDINATION 

INSIDE   FACTS   ON   MY   ALLEGED 

INSUBORDINATION 

Chapter  XV. 

Among  the  many  charges  hurled  at  me  by  those 
disapproving  of  too  much  persistency  and  activity 
in  prohibition  law  enforcement,  and  by  some  others 
totally  ignorant  of  the  true  facts,  insubordination 
was  possibly  the  most  frequent  and  the  most 
harmful.  I  shall  show  in  this  chapter  that  I  was 
not  unmindful  of  the  prerogatives  of  my  so-called 
superiors,  and  that  if  I  appeared  restive  and  bel- 
ligerent at  times  it  was  because  I  had  found  my 
prohibition  enforcement  work  so  seriously  handi- 
capped by  picayune  departmental  inefficiency  that 
it  was  absolutely  necessary  to  fight,  to  be  a  farce 
in  office  or  to  quit  in  the  face  of  opposition. 

This  chapter  deals  exclusively  with  the  many 
many  needless  internal  difficulties  I  had  to  combat 
as  Chief  Enforcement  Officer. 

Obstacles  which  I  appeared  to  be  gradually  over- 
coming when  the  Quincy  House  crash  made  my 
dismissal  inevitable. 

June  10,  1921,  I  was  appointed  State  Director  of 
Prohibition  for  Massachusetts.  This  office  at  that 
time  entailed  the  issuance  of  permits  for  the  dis- 
tribution of  liquor  to  those  entitled  by  law  to  use 
same.  At  the  same  time  Mr.  Elmer  C.  Potter,  now 
State  Director,  was  appointed  Supervising  Federal 
Prohibition  Agent  for  New  England.  These  offices 
were  absolutely  independent.  Early  in  July  the 
office  of  Supervising  Federal  Prohibition  Agent 
was  abolished,  the  State  Director  being  made  su- 
preme in  each  State. 

On  July  9th,  1921,  I  received  a  pre-emptory  tele- 
gram from  Commissioner  Blair  in  Washington  stat- 
ing that  my  services  were  no  longer  needed  as  State 
Director  and  ordering  me  to  turn  over  all  govern- 
ment papers  and  property  to  Mr.  Elmer  C.  Potter, 

147 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

who  was  to  succeed  me  as  State  Director.  In  other 
words,  Mr.  Potter  was  to  be  eased  into  my  office 
with  the  same  ejectment  order  that  kicked  me  out 
of  office.  My  theory  at  that  time,  and  it  has  not 
been  changed  by  subsequent  events,  was  that  one 
man  was  known  to  be  safe,  while  the  other  was 
untried  with  no  particular  reputation  for  docility. 

I  learned  at  this  time  from  a  reliable  source  and 
the  information  was  reported  to  have  emanted  di- 
rectly from  the  office  of  Senator  Henry  Cabot  Lodge, 
that  Mr.  Elmer  C.  Potter  was  to  be  retained  in  the 
service  at  any  cost.  In  other  words,  the  "high-ups" 
in  the  counsel  of  the  G.  O.  P.  had  decreed  that  Mr. 
Potter  was  perfectly  satisfactory  to  them. 

A  newspaper  statement  published  at  this  time 
was  quite  illuminating,  quoting  in  substance  from 
this  article: 

"Mr.  Elmer  C.  Potter's  appointment  is  eminently  satis- 
factory to  both  the  Wets  and  the  Drys.  He  is  thoroughly 
trained  in  the  old  school  of  politics,  he  is  not  over-aggres- 
sive, he  is  sane,  he  knows  the  game  and  above  all  he  is 
amenable  to  party  discipline. 

"The  article  goes  on  to  describe  Mr.  Harold  D.  Wilson 
as  an  out  and  out  Church  man,  a  Prohibitionist  by  convic- 
tion, but  untried  in  the  field  of  politics  and  probably  so 
unsophisticated  that  he  will  fall  an  easy  prey  to  political 
chicanery." 

At  about  the  same  time  I  received  my  telegram 
prbitrarily  separating  me  from  the  Federal  pay-roll, 
I  received  information  through  another  source  that 
I  was  to  be  made  head  of  the  Field  Forces,  with 
Mr.  Potter  as  my  Chief.  I  immediately  rebelled, 
not  only  refusing  to  take  the  position  of  head  of  the 
Field  Forces,  but  refusing  to  give  up  my  position 
as  Federal  Prohibition  Director  without  a  public 
investigation.  In  less  than  three  days  such  a  near 
riot  had  been  created  among  my  church  and  other 
dry  supporters  that  I  was  summonsed  to  Washing- 
ton for  a  conference. 

At  Washington  I  flatly  refused  to  accept  the  posi- 
tion of  head  of  the  Field  Forces  unless  given  practi- 

148 


MY  ALLEGED  INSUBORDINATION 

cal  independence  as  chief  in  charge  of  enforcement 
in  Massachusetts,  and  the  right  to  initiate  the  firing 
and  hiring  of  agents.  My  contention  was  that  it  was 
unfair  to  ask  me  to  incur  the  dangers  and  hardships 
of  service  in  the  first  line  trenches  unless  given 
absolute  charge  over  my  men.  These  concessions 
were  granted  at  that  time  in  writing  by  Major  Roy 
A.  Haynes,  Federal  Prohibition  Commissioner  and 
on  this  basis  I  came  back  to  the  old  Bay  State  pre- 
pared to  enforce  the  Volstead  Act  to  the  best  of  my 
ability. 

There  has  been  so  much  said  pro  and  con  regard- 
ing the  respective  duties  of  Mr.  Potter  and  myself 
and  my  alleged  failure  (termed  by  my  enemies  as 
insubordination)  to  lay  dormant  when  nearly  every 
city  and  town  in  the  state  was  crying  for  help  that 
I  am  publishing  the  section  of  the  agreement  signed 
by  Federal  Prohibition  Commissioner  Haynes  on 
July  12,  1921,  upon  the  signing  of  which  I  agreed 
to  continue  in  the  service. 

4(       3(c       4t       :^       4t       « 

July  12,  1921. 
We  are  very  anxious  that  you  and  Mr.  Wilson 
work  harmoniously  together,  as  I  know  you  will, 
to  get  the  very  best  possible  results  in  the  State 
of  Massachusetts.  As  Head  of  the  Field  Division, 
Mr.  Wilson  will  have  charge  of  the  law  enforce- 
ment work,  for  which  I  believe  he  has  special  adap- 
tation. While  we  would,  of  course,  expect  you  both 
to  talk  over  general  policies,  I  believe  it  necessary 
that,  as  Head  of  the  Field  Forces,  Mr.  Wilson  be 
given  very  large  latitude,  for  it  is  Mr.  Wilson  who 
will  be  expected  to  get  results  in  that  work.  If 
there  are  field  agents  in  Massachusetts  that  he  is 
convinced  are  not  effective  and  trustv^orthy,  we  will 
expect  him  to  report  such  names  to  our  office  with 
a  recommendation  that  they  be  dropped  from  the 
list  and  will  expect  him  to  recommend  for  appoint- 
ment to  such  positions  men  in  whom  he  can  have 

149 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

full  confidence  and  faith.   I  am  quite  sure  that  this 
will  also  meet  with  your  approval. 

4:       :](       #       #       4c       :«( 

I  found  public  opinion  relative  to  prohibition  en- 
forcement anything  but  friendly  and  the  public 
confidence  in  the  prohibition  personnel  in  the  State 
even  less.  I  soon  realized  that  something  must 
be  done  to  arouse  public  opinion  and  to  create  the 
necessary  confidence  in  my  department,  if  any  sub- 
stantial progress  was  to  be  made  in  the  enforcement 
of  the  prohibitory  law.  Some  of  the  agents  in- 
herited from  the  old  regime  had  proven  anything 
but  constructive  and  satisfactory  in  their  enforce- 
ment work.  As  a  natural  consequence,  many  public 
officials,  especially  the  police  in  many  cities  and 
towns  had  lost  confidence  and  would  not  co-operate 
with  the  prohibition  office.  A  drastic  house-clean- 
ing seemed  imperative.  I  immedately  started  dis- 
charging the  old  agents  in  lots  of  five  and  six  at  a 
time.  I  wish  to  add  at  this  point  that  I  did  not  find 
all  the  old  agents  valueless  or  untrustworthy  and 
that  some  of  those  dismissed  from  the  service  were 
to  the  best  of  my  knowledge  and  belief  gentlemen 
in  every  sense  of  the  word.  It  was  necessary  how- 
ever to  let  the  public  know  that  enforcement  work 
was  to  be  carried  on  in  Massachusetts  on  a  higher 
plane  by  a  different  class  of  agents. 

The  various  newspapers  carried  considerable 
space  at  this  time  relative  to  my  house-cleaning. 
This  publicity  served  a  three-fold  purpose: 

1.  It  focused  public  attention  upon  the  fact  that 
there  was  an  enforcement  department  that  was  at 
least  striving  to  function. 

2.  It  served  notice  upon  those  who  had  been  con- 
niving with  the  department  that  there  was  to  be  a 
different  order  of  affairs. 

3.  It  proved  conclusively  to  those  who  had  lost 
confidence  in  the  old  personnel  that  in  the  future 
prohibition  enforcement  was   to  be  conducted  by 

150 


MY  ALLEGED  INSUBORDINATION 

prohibitionists  in  the  interest  of  genuine  law  en- 
forcement. 

Obstacle  after  obstacle  was  encountered  in  my 
house-cleaning  endeavors.  Some  of  the  men,  acting 
on  advice  from  those  higher  up  or  from  interests 
without,  questioned  my  authority  to  demand  their 
discharge,  and  in  some  instances  were  re-engaged 
by  the  State  Director.  This  created  a  division  of 
authority  in  the  prohibition  department  which  con- 
tinued to  the  time  of  my  own  dismissal  in  January. 

As  an  example,  on  one  occasion  I  was  notified 
after  recommending  two  men  for  immediate  ap- 
pointment that  it  was  not  politically  expedient  to 
appoint  these  men.  This  notice  came  seventeen 
days  after  my  recommendation  had  been  forwarded. 
While  I  do  not  believe  that  political  expediency 
should  have  had  anything  to  do  with  the  appoint- 
ment of  agents,  if  politics  had  to  play  a  part  it  was 
certainly  as  politically  inexpedient  on  the  day  I 
recommended  these  men  as  it  was  seventeen  days 
later.  Why  tie  up  the  Department  without  agents 
while  ascertaining  the  political  expediency  of  ap- 
pointing candidates  otherwise  eminently  satisfac- 
tory. 

During  the  month  of  November  largely  because 
of  departmental  dilly  dallying  I  was  compelled  to 
try  to  enforce  the  prohibitory  law  in  Massachusetts 
with  about  thirteen  agents.  My  men  were  scattered 
so  thinly  throughout  the  State  that  time  and  time 
again  Wilson's  flying  squadron  consisted  of  only 
Wilson  and  his  chauffeur.  Reports  were  constantly 
brought  to  my  men  and  to  myself  that  I  was  to  be 
fired  forthwith.  On  many,  many  occasions  the  exact 
date  of  my  dismissal  was  designed.  My  prohibition 
enforcement  activities  in  Massachusetts  during 
August,  September,  October  and  November  were 
handicapped  in  so  many  ways  and  there  were  so 
many  rumorS  as  to  the  dire  things  due  to  occur  to 
my  agents  and  myself  that  it  seems  like  a  nightmare 
when  I  think  of  those  days.   All  through  these  try- 

151 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

ing  days,  the  men  that  I  had  appointed  and  the  rem- 
nant of  the  old  agents  retained  on  the  force  fought 
almost  night  and  day  to  obtain  such  good  results 
in  enforcement  that  no  changes  could  be  made.  In 
this  respect  my  two  fisted  Scotch  first  Deputy,  Mr. 
Gordon  C.  MacMaster,  rendered  particularly  ef- 
fective service.  Nothing  seemed  to  daunt  him  or 
dampen  his  ardor.  The  greater  the  obstacles,  the 
more  numerous  the  difficulties — the  harder  and 
more  conscientiously  he  worked.  His  example  was 
a  constant  inspiration  to  the  agents  and  a  great 
source  of  comfort  to  myself.  Such  men  are  rare 
and  enforcement  in  Massachusetts  is  losing  in  Mr. 
MacMaster  a  rugged,  fearless,  hard-fighting,  four- 
square man  that  it  will  be  practically  impossible  to 
replace. 

Inability  to  collect  legitimate  expenses  was  one 
of  the  serious  handicaps  and  today  I  am  out  of 
pocket  several  hundred  dollars  as  a  reward  for  my 
enforcement  activities.  Men  who  were  working 
from  fifteen  to  twenty  hours  a  day  some  of  the  time 
on  Sundays  as  well  as  week-days,  found  it  impos- 
sible to  collect  the  money  actually  expended  on 
expenses. 

In  October  matters  grew  so  bad  that  I  had  to  abso- 
lutely demand  a  show-down.  I  wrote  Commissioner 
Haynes  for  permission  to  come  to  Washington. 

No  response  was  received  to  this  letter,  but  after 
a  number  of  appeals  to  interest  Congressmen  and 
others  I  was  finally  invited  to  Washington.  I 
returned  to  Massachusetts  with  the  definite  un- 
derstanding that  I  could  immediately  finish  my 
house-cleaning  without  interference  from  any 
source. 

Nine  more  men  were  let  out  at  this  time.  No- 
vember 10th  I  recommended  for  appointment  nine 
men.  One  of  these  men  was  appointed  December 
2nd,  one  December  8,  one  December  9,  one  De- 
cember 10,  one  December  27th  and  one  January  3rd. 
When  I  left  the  service  January  27th,  three  were 

152 


MY  ALLEGED  INSUBORDINATION 

still  waiting  for  their  appointment.  It  took  me  from 
August  14  to  December  8  to  secure  the  appointment 
of  a  man  who  was  out  of  employment  and  in  dire 
need  of  finances.  This  man  had  had  two  years  of 
actual  experience  as  a  detective  and  was  the  sole 
support  of  a  wife  and  three  small  children.  He  was 
held  up  primarily,  because  he  could  not  secure  the 
endorsement  of  his  Congressman  on  the  ground  that 
he  had  not  been  sufficiently  active   in   the  party. 

In  spite  of  the  many  difficulties  it  is  interesting 
to  note  that  practically  twice  as  much  work  was  ac- 
complished during  the  month  of  November  with  a 
greatly  depleted  force  as  was  done  in  the  month 
of  October  with  practically  double  the  number  of 
agents. 

At  times  I  appeared  to  be  getting  the  best 
of  the  argument  inasmuch  as  my  recommendations 
for  the  appointment  of  agents  were  gradually  get- 
ting through,  although  delayed.  Then  came  the 
Quincy  House  smash  of  December  20th.  From  that 
time  on  the  handwriting  on  the  wall  was  plain.  I 
could  see  it  and  some  of  those  closest  to  me  knew 
that  it  was  only  a  matter  of  time  when  I  would 
have  to  walk  the  plank.  It  was  impossible,  how- 
ever, to  convince  the  majority  of  the  public  of  the 
impending  danger.  The  next  step  in  placing  the 
skids  under  me  was  the  removal  to  the  Harvey 
Building,  Chauncy  St.,  on  the  busiest  day  of  the 
year,  December  31st. 

Just  prior  to  the  removal  I  wrote  a  four  page  letter 
to  Washington  frankly  stating  the  impossibility  of 
continuing  to  pose  as  Prohibition  Enforcement  Chief 
in  Massachusetts  without  some  facilities  for  carrying 
on  my  work. 

This  letter  was  forwarded  to  Commissioner 
Haynes  on  the  28th  day  of  December,  and  followed 
up  by  another  letter  and  two  telegrams.  No  re- 
sponse was  received  and  on  January  9th  I  de- 
manded a  public  investigation  as  described  in  an- 
other chapter. 

1^8 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

GUNNING   FOR  THE   BIG   FELLOWS 

Chapter  XVL 

The  man  who  goes  after  the  big  fellows  in  prohi- 
bition law  enforcement  is  said  to  be  lacking  in 
discretion  and  tremendously  temperamental,  if  not 
actually  fanatical.  It  is  considered  good  form  to 
raid  the  ignorant  foreigner,  but  when  the  stomach 
indulgence  of  the  rich  man  and  the  wet  politician 
is  interfered  with,  someone  must  suffer  and  by  all 
the  rules  of  our  privileged  liquor  absorbers  the  suf- 
fers should  not  be  the  law  violators  but  rather  the 
law  enforcers. 

These  more  or  less  philisophical  commentaries 
are  based  on  actual  personal  experiences,  and  not 
on   unsubstantiated   theories. 

In  the  parlance  of  the  raider,  I  "hit"  the  Quincy 
House,  and  in  no  uncertain  manner,  the  Quincy 
House  banqueters  "hit"  me.  It  now  remains  to  be 
seen  whether  they  actually  knocked  me  down,  or 
knocked  themselves  out.  My  guess,  which  is  the 
opinion  of  many  genuine  law  abiding  citizens  who 
believe  in  law  enforcement  from  the  Top  Down 
rather  than  from  the  Bottom  Part  Way  Up,  is  that 
most  of  the  effective  hitting  is  going  to  be  done  this 
fall  at  the  primaries  and  at  the  election  with  the 
Hon.  Henry  Cabot  Lodge,  the  Hon.  Charles  H. 
Innes,  and  his  close  friend  and  political  protege,  the 
Governor,  Channing  H.  Cox,  the  principle  punch 
absorbers. 

The  Quincy  House  joy  killer,  is  discussed  else- 
where in  this  book  so  this  chapter  will  be  confined 
to  some  other  large  raids. 

It  was  my  pleasure  acting  with  the  Boston  Po- 
lice, under  the  leadership  of  Captain  Reardon,  to 
raid  the  Hotel  Brunswick  during  November,  192L 
Ample  evidence  that  the  liquor  laws  had  been  vio- 
lated was  secured,  and  some  of  the  patrons  of  this 
hostelry  were  found  to  have  imbibed  too  freely, 

154 


GUNNING  FOR  THE  BIG  FELLOWS 

either  on  the  premises  or  prior  to  their  arriyal,  but 
by  one  of  the  strange  incongruities  of  our  courts, 
no  liquor  violation  was  found.  The  fact  remains 
however  that  one  of  the  big  fellows  had  learned 
that  there  was  a  prohibitory  law,  and  that  some  of 
the  unsophisticated  at  least  insisted  on  applyinjf  it 
to  the  larger  hotels.  Even  when  such  raids  do  not 
result  in  a  conviction  they  generally  have  a  very 
salutary  effect  upon  those  who  have  been  raided. 
Charlie  Innes  was  one  of  the  defense  counsels. 

The  following  is  a  typical  description  of  the 
''hitting"  of  a  "swell"  road  house.  On  a  Saturday 
evening,  in  the  early  fall  of  1921,  armed  with  a 
search  warrant  and  assisted  by  eight  agents  I 
staged  a  raid  upon  the  Pine  Grove  Inn,  Marlboro, 
Mass.  Four  agents  were  deployed  through  the 
woods  and  given  sufficient  time  to  get  within  strik- 
ink  distance  of  the  rear  of  the  Inn.  With  my  other 
four  agents,  I  then  drove  boldly  up  to  the  front  door 
of  the  road  house,  and  rushed  the  main  and  private 
dining-roonis.  As  we  rushed  the  front  of  the  house, 
the  agents  in  the  rear  took  care  of  the  kitchen  and 
cellar.  Each  man  had  been  given  a  particular  sec- 
tion to  cover.  One  man,  for  example,  took  the  cel- 
lar; another  the  outside  buildings,  two,  the  kitchen 
and  serving  room,  two,  the  main  dining-room,  two 
the  private  dining-rooms  on  the  second  floor,  and  I 
reserved  myself  as  a  free  lance  to  search  anywhere. 
The  two  chauffeurs  with  our  party  were  ordered  to 
patrol  the  premises  around  the  road  house. 

Of  course,  the  first  act  of  the  proprietor  and 
waiters  of  a  drinking  party  is  to  spill  the  evidence, 
and  naturally  unless  the  proprietor  has  a  large 
supply,  the  securing  of  evidence  is  absolutely  de- 
pendent upon  the  speed  with  which  the  place  is 
"hit."  In  this  particular  instance,  we  captured  ample 
evidence  for  a  conviction. 

Another  highly  successful  descent  on  a  j*oad 
house  was  made  on  a  well-known  Inn  in  North 
Taunton,  Mass.    Forty-two  bottles  of  beautifully 

155 


DR,Y  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

labeled  old  rye  whiskey  were  seized  in  this  case. 
When  this  whiskey  was  analyzed  in  my  office,  it 
was  found  that  thirty-eight  of  the  bottles  were  imi- 
tation, and  four  genuine  but  somewhat  diluted  rye 
whiskey.  The  proprietor,  however,  was  charging  a 
dollar  a  drink  for  a  small  glass  of  whiskey.  If  a 
customer  entered  who  knew  liquors,  he  was  sold 
one  drink  of  real  whiskey,  and  then  filled  up  on 
imitation;  the  average  patron  was  fed  upon  imita- 
tion from  the  start. 

Two  hotels  in  Taunton  were  raided  on  one  occa- 
sion, much  to  the  amazement  of  the  owners.  These 
hotels  were  well  equipped  with  a  system  of  signals 
which  were  supposed  to  be  as  sure  protection  as  a 
first  class  burglar  alarm  system. 

In  the  first  place  relieved  of  its  liquor  supply  the 
proprietor  had  instituted  a  buzzer  system.  If  the 
proper  man  entered  the  bar  room,  he  was  allowed  to 
pass  on  up  the  stairs  to  the  private  serving  room. 
If  the  wrong  individual  entered,  the  buzzer  was 
sounded  and  the  source  of  supply  concealed.  My 
agent,  who  had  mastered  the  details  of  this  system, 
entered  the  hotel,  and  proceeded  to  the  serving 
sanctum  prior  to  my  entry.  When  I  came  in,  the 
buzzer  was  promptly  sounded  and  the  man  in  the 
serving  room  said,  "Hide  the  evidence,  the  federal 
officers  are  down  stairs."  My  man  replied,  "Quite 
right,  and  they  are  also  upstairs,  you  are  under 
arrest." 

In  the  other  hotel  the  man  who  touched  the  door 
knob  to  the  private  serving  room  was  out  of  luck, 
but  if  he  knocked  twice,  on  the  door  without  touch- 
ing the  knob,  waited  until  the  man  in  charge  of  the 
bar  had  adjusted  the  curtain,  and  then  rapped  three 
times,  he  was  admitted.  My  agent,  the  same  man, 
by  the  way,  that  mastered  the  buzzer  system  in  the 
other  hotel,  made  his  entry  according  to  Hoyle  and 
then  kindly  opened  the  door  for  me  without  requir- 
ing me  to  employ  the  formalities  of  the  knocking 
system.  Both  of  these  proprietors  were  convicted  in 

156 


GUNNING  FOR  THE  BIG  FELLOWS 

court,  and  as  a  consequence  had  a  more  wholesome 
regard  for  the  prohibitory  law. 

One  feature  of  successful  raiding  is  hitting  when 
least  expected.  In  baseball  phraseology,  "Hitting 
where  they  ain't."  I  visited  Greenfield,  Mass.  in  per- 
son only  once,  but  on  this  occasion  the  liquor  inter- 
ests knew  we  had  "hit"  the  place.  The  Pullman,  the 
Franklin,  and  King's  Hotel  were  raided  and  yielded 
very  handsome  returns  in  the  way  of  liquor.  The 
raiding  of  these  places  was  very  simple  as  the  hotel 
proprietors  appeared  to  be  sublimely  confident  that 
no  one  would  interfere  with  their  illegal  traffic  in 
"booze."  At  the  completion  of  these  raids,  I  started 
for  North  Adams  with  my  crew,  hoping  to  give  that 
city  a  taste  of  the  Volstead  Act.  The  dealers  in 
Greenfield,  however,  took  the  precaution  of  calling 
twenty-two  different  cities  and  towns  on  the  tele- 
phone and  notifying  the  dealers  in  liquor  that  I  was 
in  their  midst.  The  same  disgruntled  law  violating 
dispensers  of  poisonous  liquors  followed  my  party 
as  far  as  Sherburne  Falls,  where  I  threw  them  off 
the  trail  by  starting  for  Springfield  via  Ashfield,  and 
then  doubling  back  on  my  trail  and  taking  the 
Mohawk  trail  for  North  Adams. 

In  spite  of  these  precautions,  however,  my  raids 
in  North  Adams  were  far  from  successful.  I  did 
secure  a  number  of  sugar  barrels  which  were  found 
to  contain  seven  per  cent  beer  instead  of  sugar, 
which  the  dealers  were  unable  to  dispose  of  prior 
to  my  arrival  so  that  my  trip  to  North  Adams  was 
not  entirely  in  vain. 

One  amusing  raid  upon  some  gentlemen  holding 
themselves  immune  from  the  law,  was  staged  in 
the  town  of  Wrentham.  I  received  an  authentic  tip 
that  the  police  and  firemen  were  to  have  a  ball  in 
the  town  hall  at  which  their  ladies  and  friends  were 
to  be  present,  and  that  different  kinds  of  balls  were 
to  be  served  on  the  second  floor  of  the  fire  station. 
This  lay-out  differed  slightly  from  the  Quincy 
House  in  that  the  second  story  was  in  another  build- 

157 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

ing,  and  the  collection  of  celebrities  was  somewhat 
less  notable. 

When  I  arrived  at  about  9  P.  M.  the  festivities 
were  at  their  height.  In  company  with  two  agents 
I  entered  the  second-story  barroom,  and  suggested 
that  possibly  it  would  be  better  for  all  concerned  if 
the  drinking  ceased.  My  orders  were  obeyed  with 
alacrity  if  not  with  enthusiasm.  Some  twenty  of  the 
select  were  present.  In  order  to  make  sure  that  all 
interested  gentlemen  benefited  from  the  effect  of 
the  raid,  we  kept  the  curtains  drawn,  and  door 
closed  to  those  within,  but  allowed  the  thirsty  gen- 
tlemen from  without  to  enter  at  their  pleasure. 

After  some  thirty-five  had  entered  including  prac- 
tically all  the  police  and  fire  force  of  Wrentham, 
with  delegations  from  nearby  towns,  the  names  and 
addresses  of  those  present  were  secured  and  the 
Hquor  confiscated.  No  arrests  were  made,  although 
the  Chief  of  Police  who  was  also  the  Chief  of  the 
Fire  Department  was  summonsed  for  appearance  in 
court  to  answer  for  the  possession  of  the  liquor  for 
his  two  departments.  If  I  had,  wished,  however,  to 
make  any  arrests,  it  would  have  been  very  embar- 
rassing as  there  would  have  been  none  to  actually 
lock  up  the  men  or  to  stand  guard  as  all  seemed  to 
be  present,  including  one  of  the  town  selectmen. 

The  Quincy  House  raid  came  on  December  20th, 
and  had  a  wholesome  effect  upon  the  Xmas  and  New 
Year's  eve  celebrations  in  Boston.  At  about  this 
time  I  changed  my  tactics  relative  to  hotel  raids, 
because  some  cases  had  been  lost  in  court  through 
hotel  proprietors  disclaiming  all  knowledge  that 
liquor  had  been  served  in  their  hostelry,  asserting 
that  the  liquor  was  brought  in  by  the  hotel  patrons. 
I  announced  that  the  people  found  drinking  would 
be  the  ones  arrested,  rather  than  the  hotel  proprie- 
tor and  that  the  proprietor  would  be  summonsed 
to  court  to  testify  that  the  liquor  was  not  sold  by 
the  hotel.  In  this  event  those  drinking  were  to  be 
charged  with  illegal  transportation  and  possession. 

158 


GUNNING  FOR  THE  BIG  FELLOWS 

After  giving  considerable  publicity  to  this  new 
law  enforcement  method,  I  left  Boston  at  about 
five  o^clock  in  the  afternoon  of  December  31st,  in 
a  high-powered  car  for  Western  Massachusetts. 
The  revellers  in  this  section  little  suspected  that  I 
was  to  be  with  them  on  the  happiest  evening  of  the 
year.  Five  hotels  were  "hit"  with  comparative  ease. 
The  first  raid  was  staged  in  the  Belchertown  Inn 
some  twenty  miles  from  Springfield.  Sufficient  evi- 
dence was  secured  at  this  place  to  take  the  joy  out 
of  the  party.  The  Nonatuck  Hotel  in  Holyoke,  one 
of  the  largest  and  most  exclusive  hotels  in  the  state 
was  next  raided.  Couples  at  two  different  tables 
were  placed  under  arrest,  and  later  convicted.  The 
Kimble  Hotel,  another  large  and  very  exclusive 
hotel  was  next  tackled  in  Springfield,  followed  by 
a  successful  descent  upon  the  Highland  Hotel, 
Springfield.  The  New  Year's  Eve  raids  culminated 
with  a  visit  to  a  Springfield  Turkish  Bath,  not  for 
bathing  purposes  however,  but  in  search  of  liquor. 
The  Highland  Hotel  furnished  a  number  of  sur- 
prises. While  I  was  making  my  first  speech  of  the 
year  1922  in  a  private  dining-room  to  some  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  revellers,  some  of  my  agents  were 
fighting  with  hotel  help  and  a  few  bums  on  the 
floor  below.  The  circumstances  attending  this 
speech  were  so  unusual  that  I  will  give  it  in  full. 
After  having  searched  the  greater  part  of  the  hotel, 
I  unexpectedly  came  upon  a  private  dining-room 
which  had  been  overlooked.  As  I  entered  the  room, 
I  knew  that  the  tip  had  preceeded  me  and  that  no 
liquor  would  be  found,  so  to  add  to  the  hilarity  of 
the  occasion,  I  deliberately  sampled  the  punch 
which  proved  to  be  quite  harmless. 

At  this  point  one  of  the  guests  recognized  me  and 
said,  "Ladies  and  gentlemen,  I  wish  to  introduce 
the  famous  Mr.  Wilson  of  Quincy  House  fame." 
The  call  was  immediately  sounded  for  a  speech,  and 
I  said,  "Ladies  and  gentlemen  I  wish  you  a  happy 
New  Year,  and  an  extremely  dry  one."   My  speech 

159 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

was  cut  short  by  notice  from  one  of  my  men 
of  the  rough  house  going  on  down  stairs.  I  im- 
mediately rushed  to  the  scene  of  action,  but  found 
that  hostilities  had  ceased.  Three  of  the  combatants 
were  later  summonsed  to  court  and  convicted  of  as- 
sault upon  federal  officers  in  the  performance  of 
their  duties. 

Raids  on  such  hotels  as  the  Kimbble,  Nonatuck, 
Brunswick  and  the  Quincy  House  made  lots  of 
publicity  and  undoubtedly  have  a  very  wholesome 
effect  upon  the  society  folks,  who  sometimes  prefer 
stomach  indulgence  to  law  observance.  Such  indi- 
viduals resent  the  notoriety  of  going  to  court,  and 
as  long  as  raiders  are  at  large  who  fail  to  appre- 
ciate their  inalienable  right  to  ignore  any  law  that 
infringes  upon  their  personal  pleasures  they  are 
quite  apt  to  be  wary  as  to  where  and  when  they 
drink. 

There  is  a  lot  of  satisfaction  in  raiding  such 
places  by  agents  who  appreciate  the  hypocrisy  of 
permitting  the  rich  to  "booze"  while  charging  the 
poor  with  criminality  for  the  same  offence.  The 
man  who  believes  in  enforcing  the  law  from  the 
Top  Down  rather  than  from  the  Bottom  Part  Way 
Up  of  course  loses  his  job  but  in  losing  it  still  re- 
tains his  own  self  respect  and  the  respect  of  those 
who  believe  in  genuine,  impartial  law  enforcement. 
Incidentally,  every  time  such  a  man  loses  his  job, 
the  elite  drive  so  many  more  nails  into  their  own 
coffin,  and  I  am  thoroughly  convinced  that  suffi- 
cient nails  have  been  driven  to  warrant  announce- 
ment of  the  proper  burial  rites. 

Abolish  the  private  cellar  stock,  the  carousing  in 
private  clubs,  and  the  winking  at  law  violations  in 
the  larger,  wealthier  hotels,  and  much  of  the  unrest 
against  prohibition  law  enforcement  will  be  elimi- 
nated. 


160 


SNAPPY  EDITORIALS 

SNAPPY  EDITORIALS 
Chapter  XVII. 

Editoriar  comment  is  always  an  interesting  fea- 
ture of  any  controversy,  consequently  a  few  selec- 
tions from  widely  separated  centers  of  population 
are  published. 

The  selections  include  a  Springfield  Republican 
editorial,  reprinted  in  the  Boston  Herald,  and  edi- 
torials from  the  Boston  Traveler,  Boston  Post, 
Boston  Telegram,  Hartford  Times,  Springfield 
Union,  Providence  News,  Lowell  Sun,  Worcester 
Telegram,  Brockton  Enterprise,  Fall  River  Globe, 
Gloucester  Times,  North  Adams  Transcript  and  the 
following  significant  sentence  from  a  characteristi- 
cally vigorous  Boston  Telegram  editorial. 

"The  public  is  deeply  indebted  to  Wilson  for  his 
exhibition  of  Potter's  actual  dimensions  as  an  en- 
forcer of  law." 

Blames  Mr.  Potter 

(From  the  Springfield  Republican,  Reprinted  in  the  Boston 

Herald) 

Elmer  C.  Potter  holds  the  federal  appointment  as  prohi- 
bition enforcement  director  of  Massachusetts.  On  Tues- 
day, Mr.  Potter  was  a  guest  at  a  banquet  in  honor  of  Gov. 
Cox,  at  the  Quincy  House,  Boston.  There  is  no  evidence 
that  liquor  was  served  in  the  dining  room,  but  in  a  room 
upstairs  a  generous  supply  was  dispensed  to  all  who  sought 
other  refreshment  than  the  food  and  the  oratory.  This 
liquor  was  transported  to  the  hotel  for  the  occasion,  and 
the  person  who  transported  it  was  able  to  show  a  permit 
for  its  transfer  ostensibly  to  the  owner's  new  "domicile," 
issued  by  the  office  of  Prohibition  Enforcement  Director 
Potter. 

To  be  sure,  it  is  charged  that  the  permit  was  issued  after 
the  transfer  had  actually  taken  place.  But  when  Mr.  Pot- 
ter's subordinate,  Prohibition  Enforcement  Agent  Harold 
D.  Wilson,  invaded  the  supposedly  ironclad  security  of 
the  occasion,  there  was  at  least  a  permit  which  could  be 
flashed  in  his  face,  and  of  which  he  took  possession,  giving 
a  receipt  therefor.  It  appears  that  the  "domicile"  to  which 
the  liquor  had  been  transferred  from  the  home  of  Harold 
G.  Kern  in  West  Roxbury  was  a  small  dining  room  up- 
stairs. 

Prohibition  Enforcement  Director  Potter  and  his  office 

161 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

staff  may  have  been  blandly  unsuspicious,  when  the  permit 
was  issued,  that  liquor  was  to  be  transported  to  a  hotel  to 
enhance  a  banquet  attended  by  prominent  citizens  and 
given  in  honor  of  the  Governor  of  the  state.  But,  as  the 
prohibition  enforcement  director  was  a  guest  at  the  ban- 
quet, he  will  obviously  be  expected  to  show  that  he  was 
not  aware,  either  before  or  during  the  banquet,  of  the 
purpose  for  which  permission  for  the  movement  of  the 
liquor  was   sought. 

If  Potter  Had  Known— 
(Boston  Traveler,  Dec.  24,  1921) 

The  prohibition  director  for  New  England,  Elmer  C. 
Potter,  undertakes  to  put  an  end  to  rumors  of  "bad  blood" 
between  himself  and  prohibition  agent  Harold  Wilson,  by 
declaring  that  he  would  have  conducted  a  raid  on  his  own 
account  if  he  had  known  that  liquor  was  being  improperly 
dispensed  in  an  upper  room  of  the  Quincy  House  while 
he  was  banqueting  in  the  room  downstairs. 

Mr.  Potter  thus  seems  to  be  in  much  the  same  position 
as  the  newspaper  reporter  who  comes  away  from  the 
scene  of  a  big  news  event  without  bringing  the  story. 
When  he  learns  about  it  at  the  office,  he  asserts  that  he 
"would  have  brought  the  story  if  he  had  known  there 
was  any  to  bring."  A  reporter  in  those  circumstances  re- 
ceives no  compliments,  though  nobody  doubts  his  veracity. 

We  are  glad,  however,  that  Mr.  Potter  assents  to  the 
principle  that  -'the  law  is  no  respecter  of  persons."  If 
the  energetic  Mr.  Wilson  discovered  an  instance  of  law- 
breaking  that  was  too  close  to  the  eyes  of  the  regional 
director  of  prohibition  to  be  noticed,  so  much  the  more 
credit  to  Mr.  Wilson.  But,  of  course,  there  is  a  chance 
that  the  hearing  will  disclose  an  entirely  different  state 
of  affairs.  The  public  awaits  that  hearing  with  a  good 
deal  of  interest. 

An  Impartial  Descent 

(Boston  Post,  Dec.  22,  1921) 

The  raid  of  Prohibition  Enforcement  Agent  Wilson  on 
the  dinner  of  the  leading  Republican  politicians  of  Massa- 
chusetts in  honor  of  Governor  Cox  was  certainly  an  im- 
partial sort  of  descent.  And  it  proved  two  things;  first  that 
it  is  not,  as  charged  by  the  extreme  "drys,"  the  "low, 
mucker  element,"  alone  that  lends  encouragement  to  the 
violation  of  the  Volstead  Act,  and,  second,  that  here  in 
Massachusetts,  at  least,  the  enforcing  officer  has  courage 
enough  to  disregard  high  position,  politically  or  socially, 
in  his   determination   to  make   prohibition   really   prohibit. 

Whether  the  "ardent"  seized  as  an  outside  appurtenance 
of  the  banquet  was  moved  to  the  hotel  by  valid  permit 

162 


SNAPPY  EDITORIALS 

or  not,  the  Volstead  Act  was  clearly  violated  by  the  per- 
son who  appeared  to  have  possession  of  it,  since  it  could 
not  have  been  had  in  his  home  or  supplied  to  "bona  fide 
guests"  to  the  number  of  300,  or  whatever  number  partook 
of  the  contraband  refreshment.     The  gentlemen  who  at- 
tended   the    dinner    knew    that    the    law    was    violated    as 
actually  as   if  plain   Bill   Snooks   had   been   caught   in   Pi 
Alley  furnishing  a  drink  for  plain  Jim  Rooks. 
Wilson*s  Passing 
(Boston  Telegram,  Jan.  26,  1922) 
Harold    D.    Wilson    has    been    removed    from    office. 
Wilson  blundered,  for  he  held  that  all  men  are  the  same 
under  the  law,  and  the  Republican  ring  can   not  forgive 
that  kind  of  blunder. 

Perhaps  some  ancestor  of  Wilson's  offered  his  life  to 
maintain  that  principle  when  Abraham  Lincoln  set  it 
down  as  a  fundamental  creed  of  the  Republican  party. 

Wilson  forgets  that  the  Republican  ring  in  Massachu- 
setts has  nothing  in  common  with  Lincoln.  To  the  ring 
all  men  are  equal  except  Republican  office  holders.  Tkey 
are  royalists,  born  to  rule,  and  every  man  and  woman  and 
child  is  serf  to  be  ruled. 

Wilson  has  gone,  but  with  him  go  the  petty  Republican 
fakirs  who  have  controlled  Massachusetts.  They  have 
sealed  their  own  doom.  The  next  election  will  ^  decide 
for  law  and  order,  and  deciding  for  those  principles  it 
will  decide  against  the  men  and  the  party  of  booze. 
The  Aftermath  of  a  Raid 
f  Springfield  Union,  Dec.  25,  1921) 
.  .  .  but  in  spite  of  these  circumstances  Agent  Wilson  had 
the  unerring  instinct  which  told  him  that  the  bottles  were 
filled  with  high  grade  whisky  and  cocktails  to  be  found 
in  the  room  immediately  over  the  banquet  hall,  and  a  pro- 
hibition agent  with  an  unerring  instinct  like  that  appears 
to  be  of  the  precise  kind  needed  in  the  political  and  social 
atmosphere  of  Boston,  and,  for  that  matter,  of  other 
places  where  there  is  less  than  one  half  of  one  per  cent, 
enforcement.  Even  agents  with  such  rare  instinct  are 
not  expected  to  operate  successfully  in  more  than  one 
case  out  of  a  hundred  and  his  instinct  in  this  case  was 
coupled  with  that  high  degree  of  courage  that  we  have 
already  favorably  mentioned  and  that  is  generally  necessary 
when  prohibition  interferes  with  those  of  high  rather 
than  of  low  degree. 

In  view  of  such  an  exceptional  achievement  Agent  Wil- 
son should  naturally  be  the  hero  of  the  hour  and,  though 
he  is  so  regarded  by  those  who  cling  religiously  to  the 
theory  that  prohibition  always  prohibits,  he  nevertheless 
finds  himself  walking  in  a  highly  volcanic  region,  meta- 

163 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

phorically  as  spectacular  and  as  uncertain  as  the  Valley 
of  Ten  Thousand  Smokes  left  by  a  recent  eruption  in 
Alaska.  .  .  . 

A  Boston  Booze  Raid 
(Hartford,  (Conn.)  Times,  Dec.  24,  1921) 

There's  a  merry  hullabaloo  in  Boston  because  a  federal 
prohibition  agent  raided  a  room  in  a  hotel  at  which  guests 
attending  a  banquet  given  in  honor  of  the  governor  were 
supplied  with  liquid  refreshment.  The  agent  found  booze, 
and  also  found  that  its  owner  had  a  permit  to  transfer 
it  from  his  home  to  his  "temporary  domicile"  in  the  hotel, 
this  permit  being  signed  by  the  superior  of  the  raiding 
agent,  who  attended  the  dinner  on  the  floor  below.  Now 
there  is  talk  of  demanding  that  this  agent  be  transferred 
to  some  place  where  his  activity  will  be  less  embarrassing. 
Quite  indignant  are  some  of  the  Bay  State's  most  brilliant 
republican  political  lights. 

We've  about  given  up  trying  to  dope  out  the  Boston 
type  of  voter  and  politician.  Here's  Calvin  Coolidge  talk- 
ing nearly  every  day  on  "law  and  order"  and  extolling  the 
idealism  of  New  England.  Its  bar  association  moves  for 
the  disbarment  of  some  of  its  prominent  lawyers,  the  at- 
torney general  asks  the  removal  of  the  Suffolk  district 
attorney,  the  bank  commissioner  of  the  state  asks  stern- 
er laws  because  of  Boston  trust  companies'  florid  affairs, 
Ponzi*s  50  per  cent,  dupes  get  10  per  cent,  of  what  they 
put  in,  as  a  Christmas  gift,  and  to  cap  it  all,  a  prohibi- 
tion enforcement  agent  raids  a  party  at  which  the  pres- 
ent governor  and  other  leaders  of  pure  and  holy  repub- 
licanism are  guests,  and  which  was  to  be  preliminary  to 
starting  the  governor's  boom  for  renomdnation. 

The  prohibition  enforcement  agent  labored  under  a  most 
peculiar  delusion,  of  course,  when  he  felt  that  the  prohibi- 
tion law  applied  as  much  to  a  gathering  of  state  officials 
and  prominent  citizens  as  it  does  to  the  denizens  of  the 
west  end  or  South  Boston,  but  it's  a  fact  that  many  other 
people  labor  under  the  same  delusion. 
Foolish  In  His  Duty 
(Providence,  (R.  I.)  News,  Jan.  1,  1922) 

Nearly  six  months  ago  Harold  D.  Wilson,  chief  prohi- 
bition officer  for  Massachusetts,  was  put  on  what  are 
called  "the  political  skids,"  meaning  that  certain  moralists 
in  the  Republican  organization  wanted  to  be  rid  of  him 
because  of  his  desire  to  earn  his  salary  from  the  Govern- 
ment. Mr.  Wilson  is  a  fighting  sort  of  person  and  made 
such  a  noise  in  Washington  and  in  the  Bay  State  that  the 
fakirs  in  the  "dry"  movement  were  forced  to  let  him  alone. 
He  was  confirmed  in  power  after  President  Harding  was 
warned  by  the  Women's   Christian   Temperance   Associa- 

164 


SNAPPY  EDITORIALS 


tion  that  Mr.  Wilson  was  only  an  enemy  of  the  bootleggers 
— even  if  he  occasionally  voted  a  Democratic  ticket. 

Then  came  the  raid  by  Mr.  Wilson  on  a  Boston  hotel  at 
a  banquet  to  the  Governor  of  Massachusetts.  All  the 
guests  were  plentifully  supplied  with  champagne,  cock- 
tails, good  whisky  and  light  wines.  Governor  Cox  and 
all  the  other  Republicans  there  knew  the  law  was  being 


MEW  YEAR  <3KtETlN&S 


Monjdu  peucrwnoNS-o". 


Boston  Post 

violated.  Federal  Director  Potter,  right  on  the  ground, 
must  have  known  it,  and  he  is  supposed  to  be  the  chief 
angel  of  prohibition  in  Massachusetts.  Mr.  Potter  did 
nothing,  but  Mr.  Wilson  immediately  acted,  seized  all 
the  contraband  liquor,  enforced  the  law  and  brought  scan- 
dal on  the  gentlemen  of  open  morals  who  were  giving  the 
dinner  to  the  Republican  Governor. 

165 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

The  politicians  said  they  would  "get"  Wilson,  and  they 
seem  to  have  put  over  tibe  job.  .  .  . 

Catching  the  "Big  Fellows" 

(Lowell  Sun,  Dec.  25,  1921) 
Whatever  may  have  been  the  motive  that  actuated  Pro- 
hibition Enforcement  Agent  Harold  D.  Wilson  to  make 
that  spectacular  raid  at  the  Quincy  House  in  Boston  last 
week,  during  a  dinner  complimentary  to  the  governor,  the 
fact  remains  that  there  was  an  apparent  violation  of  the 
law,  and  the  federal  agent  was  perfectly  justified  in  pur- 
suing the  course  that  he  did.  The  fact  that  several  of  the 
political  bigwigs  of  the  state  are  embarrassed  thereby  does 
not  alter  the  situation  in  the  slightest  degree.  His  duty 
was  just  as  plain  in  this  instance  as  it  would  have  been 
in  the  case  of  a  still  located  in  a  foreign  quarter.  Conse- 
quently, it  ill  behooves  any  politician,  no  matter  how 
potential,  to  seek  reprisals  against  such  conscientious  and 
impartial  enforcement  of  the  law;  and  it  would  be  the 
height  of  folly  for  the  federal  authorities  to  afford  any 
encouragement  to  such  efforts.  The  moment  that  it  does, 
it  is  destined  to  forfeit  public  confidence. 

No  man,  no  group  of  men,  however  exalted  their  sta- 
tions, are  superior  to  the  law  or  immune  from  its  opera- 
tion. The  law  makes  no  distinctions  and  the  law-enforcing 
powers  should  not.  .  .  . 

Taking  Mr.  Wilson's  Time 
(Worcester  Telegram,   Jan.   10,   1922) 

Hark  to  the  troubles  of  a  poor  enforcement  agent,  going 
about  the  Commonwealth  seeking  whom  he  may  raid. 
Mr.  Wilson,  chief  prohibition  officer,  who  brought  woe  and 
confusion  to  the  reservoir  at  the  Quincy  House  and  the 
assembled  guests,  with  whom  he  entered  without  either 
password  or  wedding  garment,  says  he  has  many,  many 
enemies. 

By  some  metanomy  they  are  against  him  because  of 
what  he  does,  rather  than  what  he  does  not  do.  They 
compass  him  about.  They  are  ever  alert.  They  neither 
slumber  nor  sleep. 

Saturday  night   some   heartless   wretch   in   Boston   stole 
hig  watch  while  he  was  directing  some  raids. 
That  Anti- Volstead  Dinner 
(Fall  River  Globe,  Dec.  22,  1921) 

Prohibition  Enforcement  Officer  Wilson  was  an  unwel- 
come guest  at  the  dinner  tendered  Gov.  Channing  Cox  of 
Massachusetts  by  a  number  of  the  leading  lights  of  the 
G.  O.  P.  in  Boston,  Tuesday  night.  Had  the  staunch 
"defenders"  of  all  that  is  right  and  good  and  lawful  con- 
sidered that  for  one  moment  the  press  of  the  entire  coun- 
try would  be  reciting  the  story  of  that  anti-Volstead  dinner, 

166 


SNAPPY  EDITORIALS 


other   measures   might   have  been   taken   to  see   tkat  the 
"meddling"  officer  was  busy  elsewhere. 

There  are  reasons  to  believe  that  the  prohibition  laws 
were  shattered  shamefully  on  this  inglorious  occasion  and 
citizens  who  crave  for  the  arrest  and  conviction  of  the 
ordinary  moonshine  man,  should  be  interested  mightily  in 


Boston  Post 

proceedings  that  permit  a  body  of  gentlemen  to  drink,  to 
fill  'em  up  again  and  again,  if  necessary,  in  open  violation 
of  the  law. 

The  Quincy  House  Liquor  Seizure 
(Gloucester  Times,  Dec.  28,  1921) 
People    are    not    through    talking   about   the    seizure   of 
liquor  at  the  Quincy  House,  while  a  Republican  party  din- 

167 


DRY  LAWS  AND  WET  POLITICIANS 

ner  was  going  on.  The  newspapers  promptly  described 
the  incident  as  the  result  of  personal  difficulties  between 
the  prohibition  officer  of  New  England  and  the  man  who 
has  charge  of  enforcement  in  Massachusetts.  Mr.  Potter 
attended  the  dinner  and  issued  a  permit  for  the  removal  of 
this  liquor  from  the  owner's  home  to  a  "new  domicile." 
By  a  destestable  hypocrisy  that  new  home  was  a  small 
dining  room  in  the  Quincy  House.  Some  say  the  permit 
was  not  issued  till  after  the  liquor  was  moved. 

After  reflection  over  this  incident  for  several  days,  the 
worst  feature  seems  to  be  the  news  that  liquor  can  be 
served  any  time  at  big  dinners  by  legal  subterfuges,  if 
the  diners  have  powerful  friends.  We  know  of  nothing 
that  could  give  a  worse  impression  than  the  feeling  that 
highly  connected  men  can  have  liquor  served  at  any 
time  while  the  poor  cannot.  Our  clubs  and  smaller  politi- 
cal societies  would  not  dare  to  transgress  the  law  by  hav- 
ing liquor  served  in  a  side  room  during  a  banquet,  but  the 
thing  is  apparently  easily  arranged  if  the  diners  know  the 
right  people.  The  voters  of  Essex  County  will  have  their 
own  idea  of  this  unfair  favoritism  and  will  know  how  to 
rebuke  it.  .  .  . 

It  Can't  Be  Laughed  Off 
(No.  Adams  Transcript) 

Nothing  is  to  be  gained  by  gossiping  over  what  hap- 
pened at  the  Quincy  House  in  Boston  the  other  night. 

The  plain  fact  of  the  matter  is  that  a  dinner  was  given 
in  honor  of  the  governor  of  the  Commonwealth;  that  this 
dinner  was  attended  by  high  state  officials,  justices  sitting 
on  the  superior  court  bench,  and  the  federal  prohibition 
commissioner  for  this  district;  and  that  m  a  spacious  up- 
stairs room,  reserved  in  connection  with  that  dinner  for 
the  use  of  guests  attending  that  dinner,  were  twenty  ca* 
rafes  of  bronx  cocktails,  several  quarts  of  whisky,  and  no 
less  than  two  hundred  whisky  glasses. 
.  All  of  the  proprieties,  so  far  as  appearances  went,  were 
undoubtedly  preserved.  It  is  probable  that  nobody  in  the 
company  had  the  bad  taste  to  ask  the  governor,  the  pro- 
hibition director,  the  state  officials  or  the  judges,  to  have 
a  drink. 

It  can  doubtless  be  duly  established  that  the  liquor  was 
privately  and  legitimately  owned,  and  even  that  it  was 
legally  transported  under  a  duly  signed  permit  from  the 
office  of  the  prohibition  director,  from  the  owner's  home  to 
his  temporary  domicile  in  the  hotel. 

But  it  would  be  nothing  short  of  farcical  to  maintain 
that  this  liquor  was  transported  at  that  particular  time  to 
that  particular  place  for  any  other  purpose  than  to  be 
discreetly  dispensed  on  that  particular  occasion. 

168 


A  Warning 

TO  THE  AMERICAN  PEOPLE 


"The  Judicial  Section  of  the  American 
Bar    Association,    venturing    to   speak  for 

all  the  Judges,  wishes  to  express  this  warning 
to  all  American  people. 

"Reverence  for  law  and  enforcement  of  law  de~ 
pend  mainly  upon  the  ideals  and  customs  of 
those  who  occupy  the  vantage  ground  of  life 
in   business   and   society. 

"The  people  of  the  United  States,  by  solemn 
constitutional  and  statutory  enactment,  have 
undertaken  to  supress  the  age-long  evil  of 
the   liquor   traffic. 

"When,  for  the  gratification  of  their  appetites, 
or  the  promotion  of  their  interests,  laywers,- 
bankers,  great  merchants  and  manufacturers, 
and  social  leaders,  men  and  women,  disobey 
and  scoff  at  this  law,  or  any  other  law,  they 
are  aiding  the  cause  of  anarchy  and  pro- 
moting,^^ob  violence,  robbery  and  homicide; 
they'ar^  sowing  dragon's  teeth,  and  they  need 
not  be  surprised  when  they  find  that  no  judi- 
cial or  police  authority  can  save  our  country 
or   humanity  from   reaping   the   harvest.". 

Unanimously  adopted  by  the  Judicial  Section  [composed  only 
of  Judges]  of  the  American  Bar  Association  at  the  Annual 
Convention  at  Cincinnati-  August.  31,  1921. 


LIBRARY  OF  CONGRESS  • 

0  029  827  255  6 


ANNOUNCEMENT 


I  am  t)lcasGcl  to  announce  that  I  am 
to  be  associate4  witk  Henry  O. 
Stat)les  and  F.  A,  RicKardson  in  tkc 

Clothiers  Service  Corporation 

Wholesale    Clothiers, 

69  Summer  Street,  Boston,  Mass. 

This  Comt)any  succeeds  the  Clothiers 
Sut)t)ly  Comt)any,  organized  ten  years 
ago  by  Mr.  Stat)les,  and  has  been  a  suc- 
cessful and  growing  concern.  jMr.  Staf^les 
has  had  nearly  forty  years  t)ractical  ex- 
J)ericnce  in  the  clothing  business. 

In  addition  to  the  wholesale  end  of  the 
business,  we  t)lan  to  sell  our  friends  at  re- 
tail on  co-ot)erative  lines. 

The  Clothiers  Service  Cort)oration  is 
now  ot)en  for  business,  ^nd  I  cordially  in- 
vite my  friends  to  t>ersonally  inst)ect  our 
j  co-ot)erative  t)lan,  as  w^ell  as  our  ut)-to- 
!         date   merchandise. 

j  HAROLD^D- WILSON 


LIBRARY  OF  CONGRESS   [ 


0  029  827  255  6  ^